To Love or Not to Love

Are you willing to potentially have a broken heart? Are you willing to be vulnerable? Are you willing to put your self on the line?

I heard this quote from a Brene Brown book. It struck me then and even more now.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even 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. To love is to be vulnerable.”

-C.S. Lewis

Sometimes in life we put ourselves out there. We risk being seen. We allow ourselves, our thoughts, our visions, our goals, our lives to be vulnerable. We risk it all.

For love.

This quote struck me intensely today because my heart is breaking over a situation. But this quote reminds me that giving love (a.k.a. time, energy, feeling, passion…) is taking a risk. Perhaps the biggest risk in life.

But if we choose to lock ourselves away, harden our hearts, and allow no one in then we’ll never experience what God intended for us. We might be stifling the greatest gift God has for our lives. And let me tell you I have hardened my heart before and it’s not a fun place to be.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 22:37-39:

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.

So, the question, “To love or not to love?” has an answer. Right here. We are told to love God and love people. All people.

Is your heart breaking today? Perhaps, you too have allowed yourself to love and you’ve been hurt in the process. Take heart my friend.

God is with us, and He is for us! There is nothing in this world that can separate us from His love. That doesn’t mean that life won’t hurt. God is very clear that we will have trouble in this world. But take heart, “He has overcome the world.”

Isaiah 26:3

You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you.

What Kind of Words are You Speaking?

I just finished listening to Brene Brown’s book, Braving the Wilderness.  Wow.  Game changer.

Through the whole thing I’ve been challenged, overwhelmed, saddened, and encouraged.

I want to give you a few quotes from her book and I’d love to hear your reactions to these!  I’d love to hear if they challenge you, overwhelm you, make you sad, or encourage you!

“Don’t study this moment.  Be in it.”  -Brene Brown

I love this quote!  And it challenges me.  The context is she is a researcher.  She’s always trying to figure things out and gather information and apply it to whatever question she’s working on.  And she found herself doing this in her own personal time too; in conversations with friends and family.  She realized she was studying the moment and trying to figure out what was going to be the next best response instead of just listening.

Ummmm…. yeah.  That’s me.  Sigh.  So, I have been challenged to really live into the moment.  Listen fully.  Not just hearing so I can say what I want to say next.  I am practicing being in the moment.

“We’re hard wired to believe what we see.” -Brene Brown

Judge a book by it’s cover kind of thing?  She discusses quite a bit about stereotypes.  You know the way our culture assumes things because of a label put on people – on everybody.  We all have labels – self-given, other-given, and culture-given.  But what if we CHOSE to believe the best about people?  instead of assuming they are what we see?

You know how our minds can cultivate the worst possible scenario? Ok, my husband said he would be home an hour ago.  He’s probably dead in a ditch or has been abducted by aliens….  Brene suggests what if we choose to believe the best about someone or a situation instead?  How would that change our reaction and how would that change our stress levels?

Whoa!  Game changer!  This quote also challenges me.  To believe the best about others and to really lean into my faith too!  Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (NIV)  I am choosing faith in God first and foremost and faith in humanity next!

“Bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.” -Brene Brown

Ok. Sorry for the bad word.  I don’t like it anymore than you do, but I really wrestled with her point here – trying to figure out the difference between bull…t and lies.  So, many times people just talk and talk and talk when they really don’t have a clue what they’re talking about.  That is the bull….t she is referring to.  This kind of talk isn’t productive and doesn’t bring people closer together.  And lies certainly don’t do that either.

What if instead of pretending we know all about whatever the topic is, we say something like, “I don’t really know much about that.  Why don’t you tell me about it and why it is so important to you.”

Doesn’t that feel good to read?  It felt good to me.  And that kind of statement challenges us to swallow some pride and admit we don’t know everything.  We must be real, honest, authentic, and most of all true to ourselves.  Because at the end of the day, we know exactly what words we spoke and if they were true, lies, or bull…t!

Have you read this book?  If not, I highly recommend it!  And I’d love to hear your opinions of the quotes above!