“Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away.” (Unknown)
We have just had one of the most romantic and love centered holidays this week, Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day is a holiday people either love or love to hate, personally I love it. My mom is a kindergarten teacher and always taught me that V-Day was just a day to tell all those you love–you love them. I cannot express just how excited I was to write and send out my Valentine’s, just sending out a little love to people who are all over the world put me in a better mood.
I think about love, a lot, 99% of my posts are about love, it is the central theme of my faith and it is truly the one thing that I believe makes this world go round. One of the saddest realizations for me has been that one of my biggest fears is to let love in, to open my heart and allow it to be vulnerable–and I find that this fear is not just reserved to me, I talk to people all the time about how they are scared to open up their hearts because they may be opening it up to love but they are also opening it up to the possibility of hurt.
The quote above was at the very end of a monthly magazine I read, Skirt. This month’s issue was all about, you guessed it, love and Valentine’s Day! Although the quote is simple, it packs a punch, “Love wasn’t put in your heart to stay. Love isn’t love until you give it away.” The thing about hearts is, they don’t really fully function without receiving love and they don’t fully function without giving away love. I know my heart feels more at peace and I personally feel more like myself when I give love away. However, the flip side is to give away genuine love, my heart must be open and my walls down.
C. S. Lewis wrote:
“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.”
The second to last sentence brought tears to my eyes. I cannot imagine a worst fate for one’s self and one’s heart, to have a heart that is unbreakable, impenetrable and irredeemable. We don’t fear love, our fear is that we will be hurt. Love is beautiful, healing and brings us to life but the fear of being hurt is crippling. Yes, when you open your heart and allow yourself to become vulnerable there is a real possibility that your heart will be hurt and even broken; those we love often hurt us, some mean to while others do so accidentally. However, every time our hearts are broken, chipped at, sliced at and even stabbed–something wonderful does happen, they still beat and eventually they will mend and you will discover that your heart has the capacity to allow in a little more love and to give a little bit more love away. After being hurt, you must remember how it feels. We all get hurt but there are times when we are the ones that do the hurting. So when you have to break another’s heart, remember what it felt like to have yours broken and be gentle with it. Hearts are fragile and if you ever truly loved or cared about another person, you won’t want to inflict unnecessary pain. (I think there is a quote along these lines, but I cannot seem to find it)
Too often we believe that our scars make us somehow less human. The world we live in places a heavy emphasis on appearing perfect, hiding our emotions (crying is seen as a weakness but I know it is one of my biggest strengths. I prefer to call it “processing my emotions”) and trying to make it seem like nothing really touches us. If we don’t feel then we cannot get hurt, but I don’t think life is about avoiding the collisions that will leave us with scars and bruises. In fact I found a quote that addresses this:
“Maybe life isn’t about avoiding the bruises. maybe it’s about collecting the scars to prove we showed up for it.”
I want you to think about your hearts, think about the wounds that have been inflicted upon it, think about the healing process and all the bandaids that were laid upon your heart. Now think about what your heart looks and feels like after the bandaids were removed, it may not look pristine and perfect but think of it this way–your heart wasn’t untouched, it was used. It is incredibly painful when people we love hurt us but I will never regret loving them. I will never let the pain cause me to regret giving my heart away, opening it up to let love in and let love out, because my scars mean I showed up.
So I am going to leave you with words of wisdom from the incredible Maya Angelou:
“Have enough courage to trust love one more time and always one more time.”
May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.
Peace, Joy, Blessings and All my Love,
*I wrote a similar post, nearly two years ago, entitled Brokenhearted