Keeping It Real
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 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
I came across this quote today and, as always when I read it, it struck a cord with me. I am sensitive by nature and there are certainly many, many moments when I shrink back because I feel hurt. Or I shrink back because I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I am simply overwhelmed with feelings, either another person’s or my own. There are times when I wonder if it’s worth it to strive for something, anything, because life has a way of turning upside down in a moment. Bad things happen to good people. There is no way to protect ourselves from the fact that life is going to be hard, and sometimes downright painful.
Before worrying anyone, let me say that my life is pretty darn good. Yes, we are in limbo while waiting on news from the institute where Ben has applied for a loan. Yes, our basement is leaky. But those are not problems, they are just a part of life. Yet, I have been feeling quite sensitive these last few days. For one thing, there is the health of a family member on my mind. Also, in the last few weeks, we’ve watched as a dear family faces some truly horrible situations. And lastly, the devastation in Japan is on my mind. Some of these things don’t affect my own personal life, of course, but that doesn’t mean that my heart doesn’t ache for people around me and for fellow human beings many miles away.
So how do we cope? More personally, how do I cope? I go about my daily life, that is all I can do really… And yet, my heart feels heavier than it normally does. I pray. I certainly pray and draw inward, I turn my heart to God. I believe in his goodness. I believe He is present in all of it and working in the midst of devastation even if we can’t see it. I give thanks. I make an extra point of looking around me and being grateful for all we have, for the people in my life as well as material blessings. For the beauty that is all around us, in a blue sky, in wispy clouds, in trees, in every blade of grass.
I was all set to do a post on a chandelier that we’ve finally hung in my study. And you know what? I want to celebrate those moments, because they matter to me. I like pretty things and I love shaping my life in the form of what I surround myself with as well as things I choose to spend my time on. But today I needed instead to acknowledge the feelings bubbling underneath the surface.
Finally, even though blogging really only shows snippets of life, I do want those snippets to be as much of an authentic representation as possible. I’d like the overall sum of my posts paint an accurate picture of who I am and how I live my life. And for me, a beautiful life means dealing honestly with the hard parts as well. To me, this is part of making sure my heart is not locked up in a safe and airless casket, as C.S. Lewis described it. I may shrink back and withdraw at times but I will and need to always, always choose love in the end.
Have a great weekend,
Ps. I still need to do my bit in donating to relief efforts to Japan. Did you know that you can donate at Starbucks at the same time you pay for your latte, right at the register? Just ask and they can ring it in for you. I’m not saying that this is the way you should donate, but I do think it’s a nice and convenient way and wanted to let you know about it.