A passage from C.S.Lewis from his book The Four Loves:
There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell…We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it. What I know about love and believe about love and giving ones heart began in this.
.Aaron Manley Smith wrote: “The hard part I’ve had to learn, as a man, when we truly love someone, is that, there comes a moment when we have to choose to humbly and peacefully take the beating because they need something to beat and you’re the only thing that will take it and turn it into the love they so desperately need and have been denied…”
Love is a word that inspires and haunts us. It is one of the most powerful things that drives us in our lives – love of a partner, of friends, the love of a parent to a child. What would we not do for love?
I don’t know the answer to that question. Or maybe I do. I will not become bitter, even in the throws of a broken heart. I will not close myself up, I will not put myself in the “casket” of Hell. The same love that God gives to me, flows through me and it must not stop there. It must be given to others – friends, family, and children. Contrary to the fairy tales, love is not always easy. It should not always be hard, but it often is. Because we are, as humans, imperfect and jagged. And we will inevitable hurt each other.
I prayed for something larger and bigger than myself to build. Something that was more important than just me. I had no idea how God might choose to put it in my life to answer that prayer, but at the cornerstone of it, I think, is Love.
But it is not easy, and it is not going to be easy. I face many hardships, questions and struggles in the future. Can I do this? Myself? Maybe I can’t, but Love can. Love will find a way. And on those days when I feel like I can’t, when my knees are shaking, my heart breaking, my soul hurting, Love can carry me though.
I must trust that love will find it’s way into my cracks and crevices, to make me stronger, as rusted and ragged as I currently feel.
Like one of my best Friends Rex writes of those hard times, they lead to a rich life, with love, heartache, the good, bad and ugly. But it is real and it is what life is all about. And I would rather take a chance at loving someone and live a life of those missed opportunities, even when it doesn’t work, than be so closed up and untrusting, that I miss the greatest loves of my life. For that is no life at all.
And when you love someone, you allow them their days and their faults. I have seen this with my own parents, married 45 years in November, There have been times when my father was angry, and lashed out at my mother, and vise-versa. When you love, you absorb those faults as if they are your own, because you love. You give, you take, you absorb, you love. You don’t get scared because some views or opinions are different than yours. If everything was the same, it would be very boring. And if it is that shallow, then it is not love at all. For love is deep.
As long as the core values are the same – family, faith, partnerships, morals, integrity – then that is half the battle. The other half is finding someone who will accept you faults and who you do not mind “taking a beating from” as Aaron Manley Smith says. Because you are open to love and getting hurt is part of it. If you are open to the joy, then you must be open to the pain. It is as it must be, there is not one without the other. No one is perfect. We all have bad days, we all get into fights, we all have doubts, some days more than others.
And on those other days, it must be love that carries us through. Love for ourselves, love for another, love for friends, love for family, love for children
And we carry that love in our hearts and in our soul:
i carry your heart with me
By e e cummings
i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)