You with your open heart.

When you were little, you did things a little differently. When you did a drawing, it was not just a picture with lots of different colors blotted all over it, it was a very carefully thought out piece of art. Without you realizing, your little drawing was actually a subconscious message you were unaware you were sending.  As a small soul, you opened your heart and poured your young and beautiful imagination all over that piece of paper. That pink elephant with a flower hat and purple shoes was seen as cute to some, yet odd to others. To you, it meant something. In fact, every part of that image meant something. The elephant was the lonely elephant you saw at the Kruger Park a few weekends back. The hat it wore was actually a hat you noticed from a store you had recently walked past and thought, ‘that’s a pretty hat’. The purple shoes were shoes belonging to your older cousin, and you kind of like them. Those shoes the elephant wore, they reminded you of your cousin, and how someday you wish to grow up and be as trendy as she is.

Because of the depth of symbolism and metaphors of memories, hopes, and love you poured into this little picture, you immediately assumed that giving this drawing to someone would be special. You can feel and see the meaning in giving it to someone. So you do. As you proudly walk to your mom, sister or best friend to hand this painting over to, you think to
yourself “I hope they like it. I hope they think this is special. It means a lot to me, so it should mean a lot to them"

Fast forward a few years, and your mom, sister or best friend happens to be cleaning out their room. And from dark depths of a dusty old shoe box, out they pull this little drawing. Your eyes light up and your nostalgic brain starts doings dances. But in a fleeting moment of  that person holding up and looking at that picture with an ‘ah, remember this…” your attention is pulled to their hand as they wave that drawing over the dustbin. Before you can exhale a desperate and small “yes, I made that for you when I wa-“, like a weightless feather, your drawing floats down into a black hole of the garbage bag.

As you witness this, you feel a little pain inside your chest. But why? You are 15 years older now, why do you care? Why does a picture being thrown away bring so much difficulty to breathing. Because of your open heart.

That little pink-elephant-with-purple-shoes still life meant colossal amounts to you. Seeing that image disappear to rubbish is not what hurt you. It was seeing the meaning, the message, the memories and the feelings from your open heart disappear to rubbish, that hurt you. A small moment of disregard. 

However small this instance is, it one of a plethora of moments of disregard you can experience when you are growing up. 
  • When you were 7, your drawings got thrown away. 
  • When you were 10, you were the last to get picked for a sports team. 
  • When you were 13, your primary school best friend moved onto another friendship group, that did not include you. 
  • When you were 15, your emotions ran like an overpowering steam engine and you were called over-sensitive by relatives. 
  • When you were 18, your high school boyfriend insisted you were, in fact, ready. 
  • When you were 21, your passion was and still is, in design but advice from others pushed you into a degree in finance. 
  • When you are 26, your request for a salary review is declined. 

As your year's progress, your heart does something without your brain even knowing it. Your open heart starts to slowly close and can even go as far as building a barrier around itself. You and your once open heart become guarded. This little defense mechanism is quite a clever instrument. Because with every conditioned moment of potential disregard you can see yourself experiencing, you heart prepares you, so, should the moment be one of disregard, your barrier goes up and the moment doesn’t hurt as much.

The thing is, a small moment of disregard can hurt you. A large sum of small moments of disregard can damage you. Even further, years of many small moments of being disregarded can actually scar you. And as we all know, some scars are fairly difficult to heal. 

Notice how the paragraph above makes use of the word 'can'. It CAN hurt you. It CAN damage you. It CAN scar you. Just because a moment of disregard can lead to internalized hurt, does not mean it will.  

You with your open heart, have something far more powerful than you know about. Endless emotion, stored memories and a deep, deep love to share. Instead of losing yourself in the small moment of hurt felt by disregard, spend that moment looking for that immensely powerful internal love you know you have. Find that strength and use it to send your love and appreciation to someone who is worth it. You. 

Please know this: despite the scars from disregard that already exist within you, within you, there is also the choice to heal them. And despite the possibility of being scarred by potentially being disregarded, there is also the choice to prevent them. Both of these options require some things oh so small but oh so powerful from you. Self-appreciation. Self-validation. Self-love.

Instead of sitting in a second-long moment of hurt, stand up, dust yourself off and spend it appreciating your worth. Appreciate your love, your memories, your hopes, your emotions and the meaning you attach to everything.

Don't for one moment, disregard your incredible, open heart. 

You with your open heart.
How you and your open heart deals with disregard.


JHBeats is a 25 year old girl from Johannesburg, South Africa, who has a passion for chasing endorphin's found in healthy and happy living.

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