Saturday, October 29, 2016

Saturday Storytelling: The Fear and the Love

“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. LewisThe Four Loves

The world is scary. Love is scary. Pain hurts. We worry more about what other people think than we let on. We are afraid of failing. Our answer too often is to not try at all or to self sabotage something before it gets going. 

This is a very human and very normal response. We have been hurt. We have hurt. We have been lied to. We have lied. We have heard words like forever and they were spoken too soon because the person left...or we did. 

We know the tingles of love and we know the pain of love no longer being love. 

But if we want to insulate ourselves from the pain, we must choose to not love. We must choose to do as Lewis suggests and build walla around our heart while we try to get our proverbial "shit together". The problem is that we will never have our shit together. We will never be ready and while we wait, the mortar we used to wall up our heart will harden and solidify and when we think we have our shit together, there will be no love and we will find ourselves isolated, alone, and strong. Firm in our walls and our aloneness. 

Some suggest a term called at-one-ment. Some say that we need to listen to the soul and not the ego and the soul has love and the ego fear. Some say we have a true nature and a false nature and the true is love and the false is fear. Some say that anxiety and doubt is psychologically unhealthy and that love and trust and happiness is healthy. So we have covered science and a few different religions that all say that love is worth it and worry and fear is useless and does not serve us. 

In prior blogs and magazine articles and my book I have spoken of the hurt I have suffered and the hurt I have caused. 

Something I do not say enough in my quest to encourage others to love is that vulnerability and love scare the shit out of me. It is scary. I have fear too. But I also know from driving a cab that those who wall off the heart successfully end up alone and living in the motels that they die with no one around them. 

They were safe. They protected themselves from pain. The cost was too high. 

Maybe fear is a the roadblock to love. Maybe love will help us get our shit together and maybe it will hurt in the end. But at least we are not dead yet and we are not in the backseat of a cab on our way to a lonely and safe existence. 

Life is too short to not risk. Life is too short to preserve from pain and life will never be tidy and perfect and we will always have why not have love in the midst of it...even if there might be pain. I think it is worth it even if it is scary. 

A life without pain is a life without love. I would rather die than to live that life, for when you chose the life without love and pain and joy and sorrow, you are already dead. 

I started this entry with a quote and I will close it out with a quote. 

Before I do, I will say this. I have been a cynic as described below and I have locked my heart away safe as CS says some do. It costs too much and it is a dead in with more walls and more self imposed exile and any prison known to mankind. I would rather risk being hurt and being sad, because at least I am alive. If you feel, you are alive. If you are alive, there is hope. If there is hope, there is love. Fucking love. 

"Most cynics are really crushed romantics: they've been hurt, they're sensitive, and their cynicism is a shell that's protecting this tiny, dear part in them that's still alive." 

-Jeff Bridges

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