What Keeps You Hanging On?

[Original post date unknown]

When your heart is being ripped into a million pieces, and there’s nothing you can do about it, what keeps you holding on?

To what?

Well, to life. To hope. To love. To all the good stuff, even though all the bad stuff is taking over right now.

I have friends who, by their inability to see their inner – and outer – beauty, and by their pain, have effectively torn me apart. They don’t mean to, of course. But sometimes, when someone you care about is hurting, you are hurting too. And the greater their pain, the greater yours, until you’re not even sure who’s in worse torture. Them, for what they’re going through, or you, for having to watch. For not being able to help. Or for trying to but them not letting you. Pushing you further and further away. And you are trying. Trying so hard to stop them. Struggling to keep them from falling apart, because you can’t stand to see them in so much pain. Getting a bit closer only to have them shove you back again and again. What keeps me holding on then? My love for them.

There have been times, in such situations, where I wonder why I even bother putting myself through such agony, when they don’t even seem to appreciate it. But I realise, they do appreciate it. They can’t let you know, because of how deep a black hole they’ve sunk into, but they need you to keep trying. They need you not to give on them when so many people already have. When people they thought cared turned out not to give a damn, or only cared when they were happy, but weren’t willing to work at it when their smiles faded away. And I realise, I have to prove I’m not like those people. My friends, they are so used to being let down, that they’re waiting for me to do it too.

I can’t do that. Not because I feel obligated to stay with them. Not because I feel it is my duty to keep by their side when things get rough. But because I care enough not to just walk away. I care enough to keep edging closer after each push. No matter the bruises my heart has to take, I care enough to keep holding it out as willingly as before. My love keeps me hanging on.

But what about others? What about others’ situations and hurts? What keeps them holding on so tight? We all have our reasons for not giving up. Some similar to others; some completely different. Some might be unusual to anyone else but the ones who actually have them.

All I know is, no matter the reason, most people have something to make them smile and laugh even on their worst days. If they don’t, then they deserve to. Everyone needs that. A thread tying them to the goodness of the world. Because the bad, it doesn’t last. Not forever. Never forever. There is happiness in between. There is joy. There are moments of peace. Of smiles and laughter. Moments where the bad has faded to nothing and there is no more pain. And even though you know there will always be bad times coming, as a part of life, you lose yourself in the moment of now.

And it is those moments that we hang on for, isn’t it? It all comes down to what makes us happy. We hold on for those times to come again. Whether it is for you, or for those you care about, you hold on. You hold on in the hopes that you can make them happy. You hold in the hopes that you are going to be happy. You risk putting your heart out there. You risk exposing yourself to the pain, so you can get to the pleasure.

I am not brave. I am not courageous in any way. I have never done anything outrageous or outstanding. But I know that no matter what, no matter the bruises, the cuts, the tears, and the breaks, I will always have my heart held out in love.

It is, after all, what keeps me hanging on. My love.

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