“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
“To love or not to love?” That is the question. Choosing to love someone may be the biggest we risk we will take in this life time. It only makes sense that it can create fear within us, because by taking a risk you’re either going to gain something or you’re going to loose something. Ultimately, the loss of anything can be painful or even seem unbearable, especially if we have been down that road before and the loss we experience is because of a “choice.”
I speak from personal experience when I say the loss of a loved one through divorce (or being abandoned, abused, etc.) can be especially difficult, because we are painfully aware that for whatever reason, the other person has made a conscious “choice” not to love us anymore, or at least not in the same ways. That is the worst part about having the ability to choose, because “choice” implies that it could have still worked out for the better (if only we could control that other person!)
grant me the SERENITY to accept the things I cannot change,
the COURAGE to change the things I can,
and the WISDOM to know the difference.
As hard as it may be to accept sometimes in situations like this, I am still so grateful for our free will, because on the flip side, being able to experience the kind of love from others who want and choose to give it to me, surpasses and even heals any destruction the devil has tried to bring my way. And while our pain from previous experiences may never completely disappear, God will pick up the shattered pieces if we let Him and create something even more beautiful than before, and our emptiness will overflow with His grace, love and mercy instead.
While losing the love of another is tragic, I believe an even greater tragedy is when we don’t take the risk to love again (for whatever reason) because then we risk nothing and where there is nothing to lose, there is nothing to gain. Sometimes, we might feel like we’ve wasted our time or chunks of our lives even, but once we can see through the pain, we might be grateful for the experiences we had instead. Those experiences have helped mold us into the people we are today and that is a good thing. I firmly believe, “it is better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all.” ~ Alfred Lord Tennyson
The only way our hearts can begin to heal is when we realize where our self worth and value really come from – God and not other people. As we learn this, it helps us get over the bumps and hurdles with a little more grace. We must choose to believe and focus on the idea that our identity is in Christ and not in what other people say, think or feel about us. This is Gods kind of love, agape love, and God is love!
To love or not to love? To risk vulnerability or turn to stone?
I’m going to choose to love every time!