March 20, 2018

If we let ourselves love well, allowing ourselves to be “all in,” we will undoubtedly have experiences that evoke pain in our lives. Our perseverance in this life is built upon the capacity and ability (capability) to continue to love in the midst of the pain that love inevitably leads to.

Relationships require and bring pain as a part of life and as a result of love. For example, the moment we attach to, care about, and invest in our children, fear, worry, heartache, hurt and powerlessness come into our lives. Along with, of course, joy, fullness, care, and celebration. The same is true in marriage, friendship, or any experience in which we connect with love.

With love comes an expanse of celebration and grief. Learning to tolerate this tension well is a hallmark of living well and growth in being a full-hearted, or loving person. Being willing and able to laugh or cry in the living with love takes a lifetime to learn. No one masters it; we have to be willing to persevere in it.

Taking the risk of connecting to people and places with our hearts brings us to our most vulnerable places. Without the capability to expose our most vulnerable places to the process of life on life’s terms, however, we will miss our lives. Love is a risk precisely because we can survive without loving, and living a life of love is an all or nothing venture. Love demands that we be “all in,” able to experience the grief of loss and the joy of celebration.