1. Some people are not going to understand your heart, and that’s okay.

Some people will look at you and disregard your passion as foolishness, your strength for weakness, your love as insincere. Some people will not see the value of your caring soul, or how much energy and kindness you pour into the people who mater to you. But you must remember this is not a reflection on you, but on them.Let no one negatively shape the way you see yourself.

2. You are not any less worthy of love because you haven’t found the one yet.

Finding your person will (and should) take time. You might fall into a few failed relationships in the meantime. You might love someone who is wrong for you, or get your heart broken along the way. But be patient; the love your big heart is worthy of will come to you in time.

3. Relationships do not define you, but your heart does. And this is a good thing.

A broken relationship doesn’t define you. A person who walked away doesn’t determine who you are, or your worth. A person’s mistreatment of your heart doesn’t make you any less valuable in the right person’s eyes. Nothing defines you but your big, beating heart—and this is beautiful.

4. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

You don’t need to be ashamed of the way you love, of how you care, of your past relationships or the way you’ve given your heart away. In a world that’s so temporary, so focused on what we can gain, rather than give you are valued. Don’t forget that.

5. A big heart is not a weak heart.

Don’t mistake your soft heart for a fragile one; it is anything but.

6. You can’t let your broken relationships define your future.

Who you loved, the way you two let go, the pain that happened—none of that will determine where you go next. Don’t allow yourself to be caught up in negativity. Good things are coming to you, especially because you are led by your heart. Just hold on.

7. There is nothing wrong with the way you care.

There. Is. Nothing. Wrong. With. You.

8. ‘Too much’ is a label you can, and should, wear proudly.

Being ‘too much’ is not an insult; it’s a blessing. You give freely, feel deeply, and share your passion with the world—that is wonderful, not shameful.

9. No matter what anyone says, you are not wrong for caring.

Sometimes it’s good to be careful, to not throw your heart around to people who will disregard it, but sometimes you’ll make mistakes. Sometimes you’ll get hurt, but you aren’t a failure. You are simply learning a valuable lesson, and you will dust yourself off, continue forward, and begin again.

10. Hold out for people who respect you, and let no one convince you to change.

Wait for the one who values your heart, rather than scolds you for it. Wait for the person who admires your passion instead of ignores it, or brushes it off. Wait for the person who loves you with the same tenacity; wait for the one.

11. Finding love isn’t easy, and will take time.

Do not put a timeline on love. Don’t force it, or try to cultivate it between you and another person who is unwilling to commit. Let love happen. Let it flow.

12. You are so beautifully, uniquely strong.

If no one has told you this today—you are strong. You are strong because you continue, because you care, because you put others first in a world where selflessness is rare. Do not forget the power that is within you, that is you.

13. One day you’ll find someone who acknowledges and appreciates your heart.

One day love will find you. It won’t be perfect, but it will be passionate. It will be what you’ve desired. It will be with a person who sees all of you, is so excited to build a relationship with you, and wants to choose you, every single day. Wait for that person. And settle for nothing less.

By Marisa Donnelly for ThoughtCatalog

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