Love Actually: When It Comes to Your Heart, Be Courageous

I may not be able to play hard to get, I may have shitty taste in men and I may give the wrong guy too much control over my emotions–but one thing that I do that I’m proud of when it comes to love is take risks.

I’ve always been a forward, outspoken, allergic-to-bullshit type of person. Pair that with also being a hopeless romantic, and you get someone who isn’t afraid of letting the person they love know just how much they care about them. Does it blow up in my face? Sure. Do I look like an idiot? Sometimes. Do they think I’m crazy? Probably.

But do I care? No, because I get to walk away with no regrets and a content heart.

Last night, I had the TV on while I was working, and the movie Love Actually came on. I forgot how much I adored that film. And aside from making me wish it was Christmas time, it illustrated the point that I’ve been talking about perfectly in multiple scenarios…

When it comes to your heart, be courageous.

There are numerous examples in the movie, but two of them really stood out in my mind: the story of Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and Juliet (Keira Knightley), and the story of Sam (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Joanna (Olivia Olson).

Mark and Juliet

Being in love with someone is hard enough, but being in love with someone who is in love with someone else (let alone one of your buddies) is the hardest. Although nothing may come of it, it probably hurts more to keep your feelings bottled up inside. Mark took a risk to let Juliet know his feelings for her by these adorable Christmas cards.

“To me, you are perfect,” he wrote, and we all clutched our chest and teared up. (P.S. Has Rick Grimes ever looked hotter? I don’t think so. That was a Walking Dead reference for those of you who are lost. Get with it.)

Did they end up together? No…and that makes me sad…but that’s the way it is. There’s a quote that says, “Just because someone doesn’t love you the way you want them to, doesn’t mean they don’t love you with all they have.” It kinda sucks–OK it sucks a lot–but it happens, and just to know that you own a piece of their heart can sometimes be–as Mark says in the clip–enough.

Sam and Joanna

Remember how we all got teary for Mark and Juliet? Well, when it came to Sam, we full-on cried. It’s just so precious! Here’s this young boy who is in total agony because he’s in love with a girl he thinks doesn’t even know he exists. The fact that he’s actually an adorable little boy is just a plus. After getting a pep talk from his stepfather (played by Liam Neeson), he decides to go balls to the wall and tell Joanna how he feels.

But it’s not just a note with some boxes to check yes or no, he straight up followed her to the airport and jumped through security just to let her know. Sigh, so cute. This story kills me every time, and I think it’s one of the most powerful.

A child’s love is so innocent and pure, and as a young kid, you’re fearless because you haven’t been hurt yet. As you get older, you deal with heartbreak, and that’s what makes us afraid to open up again. But why? Fear of feeling that sting of pain yet again, I suppose. However, don’t you think you’d have more to lose by keeping those feelings to yourself?

Think like Sam. Think with your heart. Forget what could happen and focus on making that brave move.

“Let’s go get the shit kicked out of us by love.”

In the end, you’ll have some kind of closure. Either you find out that the other person feels the same, or you find out they don’t. Either way, there’s no more guessing, no more what-if’s, no more wondering what could be.

And ultimately, isn’t that what we want?

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