Tuesday, January 7, 2014

To Love at All is to be Vulnerable

To Love at All is to be Vulnerable

photo credits to Zen Pencils

I love you…

I sometimes think that this is the most commonly- used and high exploited sentence in the English language. It is easy to say “I love you” to someone without meaning it completely.  To others, showing “I love you” by simply hugging someone and giving him/her a kiss on his/her cheek is an effortless act.  Because it is very easy to create a fa├žade that you love someone, there are times that I doubt it when somebody will tell me that he/she loves me.

What is my reason why I sometimes doubt it when I hear the words “I love you”?

Simple because it hurts to be cheated and taken for granted.

For someone who is affectionate and genuinely means every “I love you” that she says, I find it difficult to cope up with hurt, most especially when it was inflicted by someone whom I treasure the most. 

Once, I have a friend who is a bit older than I. I used to call her Mamii as my endearment to her. We have been friends for almost 5 years. She knew a lot of things about me; I even disclosed some of my secrets to her. Then one day, I found out that she made up a lot of stories that had affected the relationship of my two best friends. She even told people some things about me. She sent some hate text messages to me and accused me that I did stuffs that I did not do. I was hurt, deeply hurt. All of these occurred months after I was anointed as the youth leader in our youth ministry.

In this aspect of my life, God chastened me.

At first, I find it difficult to approach her. It was like this: “After all the years that we have been friends and after all the things that you have said to me, you have the guts to act as if nothing happened? You can’t even say you're sorry? What kind of person you are? Do you even think that you still have a place here? Do you still hope that after all the things that you did to me, things will still be the same as before?”

That was my mentality before I came to my senses. 

God used our Pastor to rebuke me and remind me of what love is. After a while and a couple of talks with my Pastor and my accountability partners (Mom and my sister), I have realized this:

“Lizette, admit it. You were mad and pissed because you felt that she challenged your leadership and authority. You were angered by the fact that she cannot obey you and she even plotted something against you and to others. But that should not be your attitude. You must learn how to overcome evil with love. You must love the people who oppose you and bless those you curse you. As a leader, you do not have to worry about your flock, God’s hands are upon them; they will never go astray because God looks after them. You must learn to love and love and love. We are all sinners in need of a Savior. Nobody is holy; nobody can say that he or she is upright. No mistake is lesser than the other because a mistake, no matter how worse or worst it is, will always be a wronging. No sin is graver than the other; a sin will always be an offense no matter how small or big it is. You too are a sinner. You do not differ from her. You also need a Savior and your heart also longs for forgiveness. Forgive her. Give her a chance. Forget that and start a brand new page.”

I have already forgiven her. Yes. I really did. With all of my heart and soul, I can freely say that I have already forgiven her.

In deed, I must say that healing goes hand in hand with forgiving.

Forgiving is a matter of firm decision. It is a day-to-day decision that you make. When you forgive, everyday, you say to yourself that you are choosing to forget the wronging that was done to you. You are choosing love that person rather than to hate him or her. When you forgive, you are freeing yourself from the bondage of hate and revenge.

Healing takes place when you fully accept the fact that when you love, you will be hurt along the way. Your heart may have a couple of cuts and blemishes, but here's the good thing: it can be healed. When you forgive, you allow your scars to gently heal day by day. An open wound heals fast whenever you treat it with an iodine solution and let it be exposed to air. A scab will appear and underneath that, a new skin is being formed.

Same goes with heart wounds...

Forgiveness is a like an antidote that heals the person who was wronged and the person who has done the wronging at the same time. It is like a penicillin; it prevents the bacteria called hostility and animosity to eat up your heart.

With this story, I truly believe that to love at all is to be vulnerable.

 Before I discover the essence of forgiveness in love, there are times that I doubt people who says “I love you” to me. Now, I choose to believe it. Knowing that in loving someone, you may be hurt along the way, but then as long as you have a heart that is open to forgive and let go of bygones, love will always find you. You will always have the reason to love and to be loved.

After all, who am I not to forgive? God love me first; I only have the ability to love and spread it to others because God through His Son, Jesus Christ, is the first one who loves me despite these frailties that I possess.

Therefore,  I’ll choose to love, I’ll choose to be vulnerable and to forgive.

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside of Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

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