“To love at all is to be vulnerable. 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.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
It is easy to hate. We are all selfish creatures prone to acts of violence and cruelty against our fellow-man. We judge, criticize, mock, taunt, and hurt, either physically or verbally, those with whom we have fault with. In a blink of an eye we become savage monsters against someone because of their actions or words, ethnicity, or culture because they go against our own ideas of normality and moral code.
Why? Why must we fight? Why must we argue? Why must we beat down those who are weaker, eccentric, or a little crazy?
Because it is easy to hate, but it is far more difficult to love.
It is a hard and terrifying thing to choose to open up your heart to someone in an intimate way. Your palms are sweaty, your breath is shallow, a million thoughts of fear, doubt, rejection, and worry race through your mind, and all the while you heart is trying to jump out of your chest.
Will they accept me? What if they laugh in my face? Is it worth this turmoil I am going through?
Choosing to love is hard because it is choosing to deny yourself in favor of another person. It is putting someone else’s needs and wants before yours and meeting those needs and wants. It is choosing to do good for your fellow-man even when you do not feel like being nice. It is giving of yourself, your time, talents, and energy to help someone who needs whatever you can offer. It is taking that leap of faith and opening up your heart to the world around you, seeing the beauty in every life and realizing we are broken creatures in need of love.
We need love. Love is the oxygen to our souls. It gives us life, joy, and peace. It heals even the most deepest of wounds and it restores and shows us who we truly are, who we are truly meant to be.
Choose love. Be vulnerable and open up to someone. Is there a chance you will get hurt? Certainly, but the consequences of choosing hate are much worse than choosing love. Choose hate and you will not feel. You will not have to worry about being hurt because nothing will scratch your hard surface. You will be an empty shell. Not willing to give and not able to receive. But love? Show love to someone and see what happens. Your soul will sing and your heart will be glad. Trust me.
Be vulnerable. Choose love.