“It hurts like hell; and then, one day, it doesn’t.”
-Ari Eastman’s mother.
From I PROMISED YOU
I WOULDN’T WRITE THIS.
Learning to love again takes everything you’ve got. You have to relearn trust, transparency, touch, and to risk speaking truth. You have to remember love is more giving than taking; that people are not perfect; that flaws and faults always come with the territory.
“11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.” [1 Corinthians 13:11. NKJV]
Learning to love again is a matter of maturity, fortitude, and determination. It does not “just happen.” It is a decision based on ongoing healing and forming new relationships. It is time to take a chance with new experiences that confirm trustworthiness. It is involves making a commitment to dropping your protective shields and allowing another to know you more fully. It is an adult thing to do. Children simply get mad or sullen, but only for a time. Some adults I have known never move beyond. They wallow in hurt, spite, and revenge. They never forgive, or forget. Somehow, they fester vile to feed their anger; what they do not realize is that this venom is slowly poisoning them from within, like a cancer. Let it go!
To overcome your fear and bitterness, your isolation, you will need to awaken these 4 qualities—
- Trust (risk). We live in community, not separation.
- Faith. More likely than not relying on God is a much better idea than stubborn independence.
- Heart. Activating your passions, your emotions, and fear are worth the risk. Learn to feel again.
- Commitment. Make a decision to commit is stepping out of your comfort zone. You will have to do it sooner or later. To NOT decide, to NOT commit is a decision to die.
Failure to embrace these 4 qualities will leave you in emotional and relational limbo, encased in the darkness of your soul. It will take work to emerge from your cocoon a new butterfly rather than rotting within a decaying caterpillar shell.
Learning to love again will take real effort on your part. Do not love simply as a response to someone else’s love for you. Initiate love from within. Sponges in the ocean have little more function than to suck up the impurities around them. You are not a sponge.
Again, love is a give and take, not the other way around. You must be proactive, not passive.
This concludes our series Learning to love, maybe again or for the first time. Where would like us to go next?
Awaiting with baited breath,