(reposted from The Huffington Post)
To find true love, we must be true to love. ~Diana Lang
Opening your heart can be scary. Especially if you have been hurt in love . . . and who has not been hurt in love.
If I love you, will you love me back? This is our question. This is our fear. But this is also our deepest wish!
The fear of heartbreak is primal. The more we lean over the edge of the cliff of love, the more precipitous it can feel. There we are, with our heart waaay out there, on the very edge of our sleeves, hanging on by the tips of our toes to the edge of the crumbling cliff side, straining over the chasm in the hopes of true love. Love can be truly terrifying!
And so we protect ourselves, making sure we won’t get hurt again. Our hearts can harden. We can make ourselves invulnerable. Our hearts feel like an open wound that never really healed right. Over time, this wound can cover over and become a veritable scar, and impenetrable to new love. The gnarled scar tissue of old love wounds can become pretty grizzly over the years, to the point that when real love is offered we might not let ourselves be open enough to receive it. “I’m not going to get hurt again!” we declare.
If we do get brave enough to let ourselves open our hearts again, we can enter into a relationship literally halfheartedly, with our hearts hidden and protected under lock and key. The problem is, when we don’t bring our whole hearts to it, that love is likely doomed to fail.
Worse, the deeper we go in our relationship, the more there is to lose, and it becomes more and more difficult to take the risk of letting our hearts be vulnerable. We become uneasy and nervous, jumpy and touchy, loosing our perspective, taking everything personally, and quick to bolt.
But remember, a good relationship is built on give and take. And as much as we might be taking a risk in love – so is our partner.
From a spiritual perspective, it is always right to love. But there is a hard but beautiful truth inherent to this: Love is vulnerable. And you can’t take that part out of it. For the state of vulnerability requires actually feeling vulnerable.
The more vulnerable we are with each other, the deeper our love can grow. But conversely, the greater the depth of our pain if it doesn’t work.
To trust each other means to give over to each other, even in the face of our fear, that we could be left, walked out on, or be used.
Think of relationship like breathing. You breathe in, you breathe out. In this model, you receive love; you give love. It has to go both ways.
It’s like inhaling and exhaling. We need to trust the natural process of life. Just giving love can deplete us. The same as only taking love will back us up. Just like the breath, we must let it in and let it out. It must be both. Spiritual principle and nature say so.
There is so much risk in taking the chance to love again. We might think it’s easier to just not risk it at all. We worry, what if we’re wrong?
But I would counter, what if we’re right?
You can’t find a real love if you are not willing to really love.
So, take the risk to let love in. Let it in. Let it out. Let it flow. You might get some bumps and bruises along the way, and a little callous over here and a scar over there, but love is inherently brave. Take a risk. Practice vulnerability. Open your heart and see how love finds you!
Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of OPENING TO MEDITATION – www.DianaLang.com
Follow Diana Lang on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Diana Lang