Wisdom Wednesday: Thoughts on love and pain

These are two quotes from two rather different authors

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even 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. To love is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves

“I have always said that the way to deal with the pain of other’s is by sympathy, which is suffering with, and that the way to deal with one’s own pain is to put one foot after the other. Yet I was never willing to suffer with others, and when my own pain hit me, I crawled into a hole. Sympathy I have failed in, stoicism I have barely passed. But I have made straight A’s in irony- that curse, that evasion, that armor, that way of staying safe while seeming wise. One thing I have learned hard, if indeed I have learned it now: it is a reduction of our humanity to hide from pain, our own or other’s. to hide from anything. That was Marian’s text. Be open, be available, be exposed, be skinless. Skinless? Dance around in your bones.”

Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose.

About smellincoffee

Citizen, librarian, reader with a boundless wonder for the world and a curiosity about all the beings inside it.
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4 Responses to Wisdom Wednesday: Thoughts on love and pain

  1. Cyberkitten says:

    Definitely agree with Lewis here. To Love anything or anyone is to be a complete hostage to Fortune. But to avoid love – if you CAN…..? What a waste that is! ‘Better to have loved and lost…’ and all that.

  2. That Lewis quote is one of my favourites! I’ve read The Angle of Repose but don’t remember that quote. It’s good as well. Both expose what we should do as opposed to our natural inclination.

  3. Sharon Barrow Wilfong says:

    This reminds me of one of my favorite scriptures. An excellent reminder when we suffer:

    who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Cor 1:4

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