To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.
It’s not that I deliberately set out to be this way. I know that being in a meaningful, well-adjusted relationship can be a truly fulfilling experience. But I also know it takes a lot of hard work to reach a happy equilibrium, and I’m not sure if I have what it takes to achieve that. I’ve seen too many of my friends and loved ones invest everything into their relationships, only for it to amount to nothing. 9 times out of 10, the relationship ended and both parties emerge worse for wear.
However, the strange thing is, these brokenhearted folks may appear battered and even a little bitter, but they don’t seem to have given up on love. After a period of mourning, they get right up again, their eyes and hearts always on the lookout for love. I guess you could say love really is a drug, but to me, their resilience is admirable. It amazes me how people can spring back from horrifying train-wrecks of a relationship and enter healthy, loving couplings. The same can’t be said for me. There seems to be a part of me that lingers in a state of PTRSD (Post-Traumatic Relationship Stress Disorder.)
In “Need You Now” by Lady Antebellum, there’s one line that goes, “I’d rather hurt than feel nothing at all,” which is the antithesis of my personal party line – I’d rather feel nothing at all. However, I’m slowly learning to push aside my walls of anxiety and be more open with my feelings, especially with the people I care about. This beautiful quote from CS Lewis played a part in illuminating my once-closeted heart:
“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.”
Wise words aside, a major defining moment for me was watching great partnerships in action, where both parties genuinely love and respect each other, and constantly had each other’s backs. It made me think, “If I could have a relationship where we made each other better people, why the hell not?”
I guess what I’m trying to say is, I’m ready to rock those high heels again 🙂