I was thinking about the idea of love today as I spent some time in solitude, particularly considering the fact that human love always, without exception, entails pain. There is no love of mortal man that is not subjected to heartache. Any time we choose to love, we are at risk of pain through conflict, poor choices, abandonment, and even loss.
To love deeply is to take a profound risk; the greater the love, the greater the risk.
Judson has taught me so many lessons in love, but I believe the greatest lesson stems from the realization that my deep, abiding love for him was well-worth every bit of severe pain. If my love for Jud were more shallow, my pain would be too. However, I would never have wanted to love him less, even if it meant protection from this agony.
The risk was worth it!
As someone who has spent much of my life trying to avoid or minimize emotional pain, I have sometimes struggled to fully engage relationships and love abundantly because of my fear. I find it ironic that where I did, in fact, choose to love recklessly, I wound up with what many consider the greatest human agony. Yet it is this pain that is teaching me to love more deeply, more fully, more freely in my other relationships.
The risk is worth it!
These are words from a song Judson used to ask us to play over and over again in the car. I’m not sure why he liked it so much, but it is amazing how the lyrics now reflect many of my feelings toward him and the risks of love.
I’m feeling older than my years
I’m feeling pain inside my chest
Rivers flow into the oceans
And oceans never fill
I want to kiss your lips, but I know I never will
Love’s a hard decision to risk impending choke
Love’s a strange condition
With all the doubts it can invoke
Your love keeps me wishing
And my heart keeps me broke
You always make me sad
But that’s what true love is all about
Rivers never fill the oceans
But oceans always feel
The waters reaching deep inside them
I guess they always will
—Jars of Clay, Mirrors & Smoke