Love is an interesting thing.
It’s one of those things that we give and receive freely when we’re young. Somewhere between the time that we’re at that innocent age and when we become adults, something gets lost. I don’t think we lose the ability to love so much as to give it freely.
Why is this?
Well, I think along the way somewhere, we gave our love to people that didn’t realize what they had. Love is one of the most valuable things you can give someone because you give a part of yourself to that person. When given to someone that doesn’t realize this or appreciate it, it gets abused… you get abused, in a way. It can create a scar or, in some cases, something that’s called a soul trauma if you got hurt badly enough.
If you get enough of these wounds and scars, and you never heal from them, they stay with you… and certain situations will make it hurt all over again. To avoid the hurt, what we… what I… end up doing is only giving as it’s comfortable. It’s not that you don’t care, but you don’t want to be hurt either. So you walk around, with a hurt and broken heart that you keep and guard behind a brick wall of bad memories.
But you know what’s bad about this approach?
If you keep your heart guarded behind this wall, you can’t adequately give love, nor can you receive it.
My pastor said the way you spell faith is R-I-S-K. I think it’s safe to say that love is spelled the same way. Love is very powerful if you open yourself up to it. It’s more powerful than hate and bitterness, but its power goes far beyond simply warding these things away. Pure love that is untainted and unselfish also possesses the ability to heal and revive any casualties that are a result of anger, bitterness, and abuse.
So how do you love? Well, you have to open yourself up to give real love. You might get hurt, but don’t take it personally, and don’t let it keep you from loving people. If they don’t love you back, that’s no reason to withdrawal or withhold your love. Maybe they don’t know how to love, either. Take it upon yourself to show them how.
Now, if your love is continually abused, I’m not saying to keep submitting to the abuse; in the long run, this is no good. But I think a part of love involves compassion. If you feel so moved to show love to someone, don’t hold it back! Who knows if your unselfish act of love will bring healing to the one to whom you choose to show love?
Oh, and one more thing: don’t love someone with the expectation of receiving love back from them. This is one way of protecting yourself; however, stay open at the same time. If the object of your love returns that love to you, well, that’s the greatest return that you can receive. It just might heal some of the abuses that you’ve incurred as well. In short, giving and receiving love truly is the ultimate in happiness.
If love is such a dangerous thing, why do it?
My answer is this: because love covers a multitude of sins and hurts, and I think what the world needs is love to forgive those sins and heal those hurts.