To love is to be vulnerable

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 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.

– C.S. Lewis (from “The Four Loves”)

Some people want control or power. I tend to want peace more than I want just about anything else — to the extent that I’ll forgo possibly great opportunities and experiences because it’s easier (by which I mean less work socially and emotionally) to stay home with a good book and a pot of tea.

But I wasn’t created and given my life to be safe and comfortable. As the saying goes, “A ship may be safe in the port, but that is not what a ship is for.” This quote challenges me to live a more dangerous life than what comes naturally to me — even if “dangerous” means the hard work (for me) of talking to strangers and people I only know a little.

I have a heart and a life for a reason, and I need to use them.

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