It takes courage to love.
Let’s face it, we could all use a little more love in our lives. There is enough hardship and sadness and disappointment. But enough love? Nope.
To truly love, though, is not just to wrap yourself in warm and fuzzy feelings. To love another takes courage. Because you risk everything. If you are willing to put your heart out there, you risk having it broken. And if you are willing to risk having your heart broken, you have to be brave.
This is not about romantic love. This is a fact true of any time we choose to love, to seek the best for another. When we are invested in the life of another, we risk everything.
Our spouses may leave, or die. Our children will inevitably disappoint us or will make choices that hurt themselves. Our friends may (if they are good friends) tell us things we don’t want to hear. Dogs die way too soon.
But it’s totally worth the risk.
Today I will attend a memorial service for a young person I worked with for three years. I know I will witness the deepest and most heart wrenching moments of pain. I am prepared to be there to stand in the pain with my students who are my kids, and the teachers who pour out everything they have into the lives of the students they teach. I will cry with them and hug them and we will remember together what we have lost. I will pay my respects and offer my support to parents, knowing there is absolutely nothing I can do that will ease the pain of their loss.
That is the risk of love. We risk loss.
So, will you have the courage to love? When I consider the people in my life, my wife, my children, my parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephew, my friends, colleagues, and students, I know I risk everything if I put my heart on the line and choose to love.
But it’s totally worth it.
Oh, and for the record, I love to be wrapped in the warm and fuzzy feelings that also come with love. There is nothing better than a hug from my kids or cuddling with my wife.