A Guarded Heart

The other day I tweeted that I used to love easily but now my heart is guarded. Someone responded with these simple words: “Sad story”. I’m not sure what they meant by that but I assume they found it sad that I no longer allowed myself to fall in love without any inhibitions. I assume they viewed a Guarded heart negatively. I don’t.

I believe a Guarded heart represents a responsibility to myself to refrain from making the same mistakes over and over again. I believe a guarded heart is a representation of the growth that has taken place in my life based on whatever experiences I have from past relationships. My Guarded Heart is a representation of the compromises that became sacrifices of myself that I will never make again. To me, the Guarded Heart is the mmetamorphose version of my young heart that was bruise free, carefree and open to every and any thing that was seemingly good for me.

There’s a song by Shola Ama called Still Believe that goes:

“I’ve been told a million lies,
I’ve been left alone with a broken heart,
but I still believe in love.
I’ve been hurt a thousand times, I’ve been crying all my tears in the dark,
but I still believe in love.”

I used to sing this song loud and proud. Please note that the song was released in 1999 so I was in Primary school and beautifully wet behind the ears. I understood what the lyrics meant in theory, but I had never had the practice.

The other day I sat and I reflected on these lyrics and what they mean to me today. I still believe in love. That much hasn’t changed, but the lyrics weren’t as easy to belt out as they were when I had pigtails and dusty toughees shoes. Today those lyrics carry a weight. Today they require me to identify the “hurt, the pain and the tears in the dark” I experienced. Then having identified with that, I need to introspect and sing an honest “but I still believe in love.”

My Guarded Heart is simply an experienced heart. A heart with scars that have healed, but that have significant memories attached to them. My Guarded Heart refuses to be scraped or bumped in the same area. My Guarded Heart has a no-nonsense attitude that is willing to love, but unwilling to be entrapped in a relationship that fails to edify it.

My Guarded Heart is mature, she has fears but love still dwells within her.



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