To Love is to be vulnerable
I cannot really say, with any accuracy, how many times I have heard someone say, “I am never going to love again!” following some heartbreaking-breakup between this pained lover and some other person.
My advice is always the same and it goes something like this: “What is the use of living if you choose to live without risk?”
Consider these well known words from C. S. Lewis’s book, Four Loves:
“Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even 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. To love is to be vulnerable.”
Closing our heart off, in an effort to keep ourselves from experiencing the pain associated with disappointment, is like killing a part of ourselves off. It is impossible to be fully alive and to have one’s heart closed down. Besides, what real harm comes from having your “heart broken?” Does our heart really break?
Of course not! In fact all of the world’s leading metaphysicians insist that exactly the opposite is true. It is by keeping our imagined heart closed, out of the fear of some perceived hurt, that we cause the physical heart to literally shut down. No one has ever died because of disappointment, but people die all the time from hardened arteries, a possible physical manifestation resulting from a hardened heart.
Even if there were no physical problems caused by the refusal to take the risk of loving another, what quality of life can a person afraid of loving possibly experience?
Without the ability to love, I would have no desire to live. It is through loving and being loved that life is worth living.
The safest way to love is to learn to fully and completely love ourselves. Then we are free to be completely vulnerable to everyone else with no risk of feeling devastated when the other being fails to return our love. We can learn to become so full of love that we have no needs for others to fill.
What is remarkable about learning to love ourselves in this manner is that the minute we have no need of love from external sources, an abundance of love, which is everywhere present around us, becomes available to us. It’s one of life’s many paradoxes. When we need love from others we find it very hard to obtain, but when we are whole and complete, filled with the Love which flows, unimpeded, from the Universe, in and through our hearts, others find it very easy to love us, just as we find it easy to love them.
Love becomes a complete circle, blessing everyone whom it graces.
If I could draw I would show it graphically with Love coming from the Field in which we are perpetually immersed, filling us up, and flowing out from us to everyone we meet. Then in a boomerang fashion, that which we give, returns to us so that we are never depleted.
There is absolutely no risk involved with truly loving another. The only risk that is ever felt is when we have strings attached to the love we share. And that is not love at all. It is a misidentified idea of love which bears no resemblance to Divine Love.
Neediness is only attractive to other people who are also needy. This type of connection is fraught with disaster.
True Love erases all need.
And that says it ALL.