Tuesday, October 27, 2009

love is risky business

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be rung 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. 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

This quote gets me every time. In being pretty much perpetually single, this quote gets me at my core. It reminds me of something my college roommate once told me
. She said that it made her kind of mad that I rarely dated anyone, or not really at all in college. This bewildered me. Why would she be upset that I didn't date? It was my decision, and to me it seemed to be something that I was withholding from myself in a sacrificial way. Not in a spiritual way but the dating pool was just something I pulled myself out of. I was going to sit this game out. I was fine with this decision until she brought it up. She went on to say that when you pull yourself out of the dating pool for however long, it's a selfish decision. In my head, I was shocked. Of all things, I did not think not-dating was a selfish decision. She went on to say that we learn and grow so much from being in relationship with people, especially in dating relationships and that I could grow so much from dating, that I had so much to give to others through relationship. She told me that in a way, I was depriving others from the experience of growth. That got to me. All of a sudden the coin had flipped and it wasn't only about me. Ha, what a realization..the world actually doesn't revolve around me. When she brought this up, it wasn't a huge long discussion. It was more like a brief mention in conversation, but it definitely stuck with me and I find myself coming back to it more and more.

We are created to be in relationship, to be known and to know others. I haven't been single all these years because I don't want that. I've always wanted that and it comes back to the C.S. Lewis quote,
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be rung and possibly broken". Love requires risk and that's the part I'm not so good at.

I'm resting in the Love that casts out all fear
let this soul learn to trust
to know its loved
and feel its worth
let my love be fearless.


Christina said...

Great post and oh so true! Thanks for the reminder to love.

karyn said...

Here, here! :)

The funny thing is, though we have discussed this topic at length over the last several weeks, the unrelated thing that popped into my head as I was reading this was: "What are you for Halloween?" "I'm brave!"

Wishing you the courage to wear the Halloween diaper of love. :) Because as your new roomate, I can see the point your old roomate was making... the menfolk, they are seriously missing out by not getting to date wonderful you.

Lisa said...

I agree with your new roomie shan. As a girl of many relationships I don't regret the heartache. It makes the love I have now 100 times more amazing an appreciated. I'm proud of you for being open to love. I like to think it shows in our eyes, when we are in need of giving it, or getting it. Love will find you, he will see it in your eyes. love you!

Ian said...

Well I don't think that's how it works. You start dating when you find someone who's worth dating, not because your roommate thinks you are selfish. St. Augustine said "Love God; do as you please" which I believe is a scriptural viewpoint, because if you really love God you will put his will above anything else in your life. A sense of reluctant obligation or guilt is usually a poor reason to do anything. And, it's significant to note that one can potentially give an awful lot of oneself in a Platonic friendship. Sorry if I'm reading this the wrong way. I just thought I'd say something to be different and to throw some balance into the discussion from everyone else here :-)

Shannon said...

Thanks for the comment, Ian! I appreciate hearing other opinions on this one and love that quote from St. Augustine :)
I agree that it's a poor decision to date just out of obligation or guilt. I think it is definitely about finding the right person to date; I don't think we should just date to date either,
For myself, I think the fear and risk factor is a bigger obstacle. If there is someone great person who is worth dating right here yet I choose not to purely out of fear and not wanting to risk. I think that's where the selfishness weighs in..

karyn said...

I will now beat Aaron to the punch:

"hear, hear" not "here, here"

little victories. :)

Shannon said...

well played karyn, well played ;)