To Love or Not to Love

Jun 30, 2010

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly 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 up 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.” ~ C.S. Lewis

If you could hang a sign around your neck, indicating to passersby the accessibility of your love, what would it say?


  1. Jerolyn

    Wow, Michele. That's a good one. I've struggled with that most of my life. Not sure what I would put on that sign.

    • michelecushatt

      Me, too. I've been thinking about it all week … I think my sign would say something like "I'll love you as long as you don't hurt or disappoint me." Sounds shallow, I know, but it's probably more true than I want to admit.

  2. Susan

    I'm not sure what I would put on my sign either but your comments brought to mind a quote I saw posted at a funeral.
    "When you are sorrowful look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight" Kahlil Gilbran

  3. Kay

    I think my sign would say, "I'll love you the best I can." But that often is not very good. Because there are parts of my heart that have a shell that I feel helpless–and maybe unwilling?–to break.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Yes, I understand. I know it's wisdom to have discernment when it comes to who we love and how we love. But I wonder if I tend to use that as an excuse to hold back? Protect myself?

    • Michele Cushatt

      I thought I replied to you already, Kay, but it appears to have DISappeared. So … here I go again. I know exactly of what you speak. There are times that it seems a part of my heart has grown numb (in some relationships) and I feel helpless. Not sure how to change that???

  4. Sharon

    Mine would say, "I dare you." I long for the kind of relationship where 2 people are able to be completely vulnerable. But, I don't think very many people are willing/able to do that. So, my sign would echo the quote … only the other way around … I dare you to NOT wrap your heart up carefully or wrap it in a safe … open it to me and I will open mine to you and we will see where that takes us.

    • Michele Cushatt

      Hi, Sharon. 🙂 I agree with you … it doesn't seem many people are able/willing to be completely vulnerable. Frustrating! I think of the process toward vulnerability as a sort of dance. One person takes a step forward, then the other person does the same. If one person in the dance refuses to move, then it isn't really a dance at all. And vulnerability is impossible. At the same time, if one person moves too fast without taking one step at a time, it can feel unsafe to the other. I think vulnerability is something built in layers, over time and commitment and a mutual desire. Of course, that's the ideal scenario. But I'm not sure any relationship is ideal. 🙂


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