I’ve never been an open book.
I’ve always been guarded, never wearing my heart on my sleeve, “opaque” rather than “transparent,” and fairly difficult to read (at least that’s what I’ve been told).
Yet despite being reserved, I still believe that allowing myself to be vulnerable and to share my life with others (even if it’s just a few others), is what life is about. Because without it, we run the risk of never allowing ourselves to love—or to be loved.
Guarding ourselves from any kind of hurt also means locking ourselves away from much-needed love, intimacy, and companionship
—whether that’s with a significant other, a friend, a family member, a community, or even God. Because, as C.S. Lewis says, “To love is to be vulnerable.”
Maybe you, like me, are naturally careful about who you let in. Or maybe you’ve been hurt badly in the past, which is why you’re so closed. And don’t get me wrong: it’s okay to selectively choose who you open up to. In fact, I don’t recommend giving your heart to just anybody and everybody.
But I am saying that maybe you should think twice before vowing never to let anyone in again. Because:
- Not everyone is out there to hurt you—at least not intentionally. (Even those who love you can sometimes hurt you.)
- You deserve to be known and loved. (It would be a shame for people to miss out on YOU.)
- It is a pure myth to think that anything good, worthwhile, or meaningful requires the absence of pain.
Love, in any of its forms, requires vulnerability. And vulnerability always requires risk. The only choice YOU have in the matter is whether or not you are willing to take it.
Here’s a short comic based on the wise words of C.S. Lewis. It demonstrates why choosing not to risk is a risk in and of itself—but with totally different consequences:
As true and powerful as this comic is with regards to romantic love, it also applies to our relationships with God.
When was the last time you allowed yourself to open up to God fully, hiding nothing, to be seen in your brokenness and vulnerability, to let Him love you in your mess?
God never asks for the “perfect” version of you; He wants the “authentic” version of you. Because true love requires vulnerability.
Happy Valentine’s Day (in advance)!
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