The famous author, C. S. Lewis, puts it best, “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.” Lewis is right. What makes love so hard, and sometimes painful, is the vulnerability that always seems to accompany it.
“True love goes beyond the passion of romance and even finding a partner for the sake of being married.”
We use the word love to describe a lot of things. We love food. We love music. We love a good joke and we love having a good time. Using love to describe such simple things makes the word seem a little safer. It is safe because we are not exposed. A great cup of coffee cannot reject us. A song from our favorite band does not leave us feeling useless. But when we choose to share our life with another person, we inevitably make a choice to become vulnerable. Unfortunately, vulnerability leaves our defenses down, and often we get hurt.
We all know the feeling: rejection, humiliation, desperation. Opening our hearts to another person, only to be rejected, is one of the most painful experiences in life. It hurts the most because in love we are most vulnerable. It’s worse than physical pain because it shakes us at the core of our identity, our hopes, and our dreams. Love rushes us to the mountain-top, and when lost, sends us careening back to the valley below. We cannot help but feel empty. We cannot help but feel worthless. We cannot help but feel hopeless.