“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
C. S. was definitely on to something with this one.
I think that it’s natural for us, when we’ve been through the loss of our husband or wife, to want to hide our hearts for many reasons. And I think that our experience makes it especially easy for us to choose to hide our hearts in the sand out of the fear of additional heartbreak. The thing is, when we cut ourselves off from the prospect of loving and being loved, while we may think ourselves, perhaps, safe, ultimately each day that goes by in our closed off state, our hearts underutilized – or not utilized at all – for its intended purpose, it begins to forget how to do what it was made to do best.
Much like our muscles, our heart begins to atrophy.
Now I realize clearly that a lot of widows and widowers are simply not ready to wrap their brains around a new relationship. I’m not talking about those folks. I’m talking about the ones who know they are lonely, would like to have a partner in their life, but have declared to the world that they aren’t interested in dating or relationships because they don’t want to get hurt.
Here’s what: love flows in and out of the same channel. If you aren’t open to receiving it, you aren’t open to giving it. And vice versa. If you want something positive in your life and you purposely deny yourself, that blocked flow will start to overflow into other relationships and aspects of your life.
Dating, and relationships, and love can be scary, I know. And, no – no one wants to get their heart broken. And I’m not saying that everyone out there needs to go find a boyfriend or a girlfriend. I’m just saying, if you know that you would like to have someone in your life, you know that you want to give love and be loved, don’t deny yourself just because you are afraid of being vulnerable. Life is one big vulnerable experience. There is no such thing as perfectly safe existence, unless you are going to move into a hermetically sealed tent and never come out. It is by being vulnerable that we allow ourselves to be open to all of the beauty and bounty this world has to offer, and to me that – in and of itself – is totally worth it.
Even if it means a perfectly fine day gives way to the occasional hail storm.
So don’t lock yourself away, because I promise you, you aren’t doing yourself as much favor as you think… ♥