Don't be a hero. Don't be a martyr. I don't want a savior. I want a friend. I want an equal. I want someone who can be open with me, vulnerable with me. I don't need a wall or a shield. I don't want one either. I don't need a "protector" or a superior. I need an equal, a partner.

I know vulnerability is scary, but it is so worth it. Even if it doesn't seem so at first. You just need to find the courage and heart to close your eyes and leap. But I believe that you can do it. I believe that we all can. And I believe that we all have to.

It's none of our faults that we were raised in a world that mistakenly equivocated strength with emotional stoicism, but for the sake of ourselves and all who come after us, we NEED to unlearn it.

Please, don't mistakenly think that hiding yourself away is doing anyone any good. It's not. Not only does it hurt you, but it hurts the people around you. Of course it's ok to keep some secrets, but a true relationship is built upon trust, mutuality and openness. By hiding away, you aren't somehow protecting your loved ones, even if you think you are. The better option, even though it may feel like the more unpleasant one, is to be open and honest with them, rather than trying to bottle up your emotions for their sakes.

Think of it this way. If it were your friend, you'd want them to be open and honest with you. You'd want them to trust you, and feel safe enough to talk to you. Treat yourself the same way and don't be afraid to be weak. I know it's a common belief that we must bottle ourselves up so that others can be emotional, but if we all adopt that mentality, then no one will ever open up.

So we all need to break that mentality now, together. No more heroes, no more martyrs, just friends who are willing to truly be open with one another and trust that everything will be ok afterward.

I don't need a "hero". I need someone who will stand WITH me and be fully present with me. Every little piece, good and bad, flaw and virtue. I need someone who will truly be there. The brave heroic thing to do now is not to hide, but to come out. Face your fears and be willing to open up.

Of course, I know it takes time, and no one should feel compelled, pressured or guilted into opening up too soon, but just don't take up the mistaken belief that you need to hide yourself in order to protect others. You're doing the opposite. It's a hard mentality to break, but that's why I want us to all try together. Strength in numbers.

We don't need any more martyrs or sacrificial lambs or "saviors". What we need are friends, equals and comrades… and family.

AN: I've been feeling sentimental this past week and here are the results: More of me flinging helpless, hopeless comforts in the dark in the hope that someone will find them and make use of them.

And like always, my inbox is always open for anything! Love you guys!