All You Need Is Love

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To love at all is to be vulnerable.  Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly 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. – C.S. Lewis

Love comes when manipulation stops; when you think more about the other person than about his or her reactions to you.  When you dare to reveal yourself fully.  When you dare to be vulnerable. – Dr. Joyce Brothers

Love me when I least deserve it, because that’s when I really need it. – Swedish Proverb

To love is to risk not being loved in return.  To hope is to risk pain.  To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing. – anonymous

We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly. – Sam Keen

I don’t wish to be everything to everyone, but I would like to be something to someone. – Javan

As my kids grow up, I’m constantly changing my mind about what my most important lessons for them must be.  It has been sharing.  It has been responsibility.  It has been compassion.  And I still believe that those things are important things for them to learn.  But I don’t think these are the most difficult to teach and I don’t think these are the lessons that will help them live the fullest lives.  I’m starting to realize that to live this life fully and to leave here with no regrets, we must all learn to love.  It sounds simple, but as my awareness increases and my experiences add up, I am beginning to think that giving all of your love away is the most difficult thing in the whole world.

I’ve always wondered why children can still love their parents, regardless of how their parents treat them.  It’s because children start out their lives not afraid to love.  They have no reason to hold back with their love because love hasn’t burned them yet.  They give love to their parents because they feel it.  Not necessarily because the parents deserve it or even make it easy.  Children, in their innocence, express their feelings without worrying about how it makes them look or what the consequences might be.  But as we grow, we get hurt.  We love and we lose it.  We express it and get rejected.  We feel pain and over time we figure out that the pain came because love preceded it.

If life is going to be difficult whether I let myself feel every emotion or whether I try to protect myself and build walls all around my heart, why not just let myself enjoy love to the fullest?  And when I look back on the greatest moments of my life, they will be the ones when I loved someone and let them know it.  If I get the pleasure of feeling their love back, that will be icing on the cake.  But if they don’t reciprocate, it will not diminish the joy I received when giving the greatest gift I have.

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