Today, bravery looks like being willing to love.
With my oldest son’s wedding this weekend, I have “Love” on the brain. And have decided that loving, really giving our hearts to another person, is perhaps one of the bravest things we can do.
I am an incurable romantic. Though surprisingly single at 54, I have had the fortune to know love in many forms. The new, so big-that-it-overflows-your-heart, fiercely hopeful for great things, can’t breathe for thinking of another person kind of love. The steady, sharing a quiet space when no words are necessary, reaching for each other’s hands at the same time kind of love. Oh yes, I’m a very big fan of love.
Having re-entered the dating scene for the first time since the birth of MTV, I’ve had a LOT of lessons. The one that stands out with the advent of my son’s marriage is this: Dating is easy… love is hard. Tweet This
Why is that? What makes love so hard?
If we do it right, love makes us vulnerable. We put our welfare in the hands of another, and have to trust that they will treat it, and us, with respect, kindness and care. Trusting like that can be very difficult.
Madonna To be brave is to love someone unconditionally, without expecting anything in return. To just give. That takes courage; because we don’t want to fall on our faces or leave ourselves open to hurt.
Love is also messy. Let’s face it… most single people have control issues of one kind or another, and we design our lives to fit our own solitary needs. No compromise is necessary when we live alone. When someone matters, we need to shift away from our perfectly ordered lives to make space for them and their habits and needs. This can be uncomfortable, and for some, frightening.
Maybe hardest of all is that love is risky. As much as we wish it otherwise, we have zero control over the outcome of romance. We might not be loved back. We might lose the person we care about so greatly. This is where the pain lives, and scares people away from really putting their hearts on the line.
We have talked before about how a leap of faith can lead to transformation. That in stepping off of the ledge of what we know creates a space for the most amazing things to happen. This is never more true than with love. Loving regardless of the risk of self and possible pain takes courage, and a willingness to understand that the greater return is worth any risk of the heart. If we let go, I believe we can find the big love we are looking for, and more.
I have great hope for my son and daughter-in-law to be. When I look at them, I see that love lives. The Beatles sang, All You Need Is Love. And while love may not be all they need, it really is a damn good start.
I hope you’ll share your stories of your own bravery in love. It’s such a tenuous, wonderful thing. Your story will contribute to the hope we are building as a brave community.
Be brave. Be unafraid. Go love.