Single Parent Faith

Monday, February 13, 2012

Choosing to Love, Despite Fear

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” – Rumi

Several years ago I dated a guy who was so afraid to get hurt again, that he never gave himself emotionally in a relationship. The best he gave was a shell of himself. Most women accepted that, and many didn’t even notice he was showing up incomplete.  It prompted me to ponder: 

Why be so afraid?

So afraid that in your very avoidance of the possibility that you'll get hurt, you wind up hurting those who care about you?

I don’t think anyone wants to get hurt. I know I definitely don’t! But we do. It is life. And we emerge. We are designed by God to be resilient and able to love again.

Love is something that we are, period. It doesn’t exist only with one individual being the recipient. If the recipient is gone, my love does not dissipate with his exit. Rather, my love and ability to love belongs to me. It is steady, it is real, and it is mine— the source
is God. As the source, this means that love doesn’t run out. It’s like the law of conservation of energy. It can neither be destroyed nor created; it simply is.  “…I am that I am…” (Exodus 3:14) That is God. God is. Exists through out all eternity. That is love. Love is.

Why are you so afraid of pain? Will you break permanently? Will it be the end of you as a human being? Will it end your existence? Will you cease being? Will it snuff you out? Extinguish you like a weak candle flame? 

I suppose the greatest pain I ever suffered in my life has been the pain of losing to suicide, a man I dearly loved. Not just any man, my soul-mate, my best friend. The only man on earth who I shared all my secrets with. After his exit, I could have chosen to be paralyzed, fixated on the pain that is loss.

And yet….I choose to love again.

After the necessary healing has transpired, I welcome a new beginning, much like one welcomes a new day in the dawning hours. Anticipation of unexpected newfound miracles, excites me to no end. I welcome into my world a man unique in character and spirit, so we may co-create a life punctuated with love and intention.

Does God wish me to lay passively aside, afraid to jump into this life, afraid to feel every emotion? Even pain!

A pastor recently gave a sermon about the moments in life when we find ourselves essentially in a pit, often feeling like a victim. But isn’t it also a pit man finds himself in, if he is afraid of pain?  Doesn’t his fear erect walls to protect him from the pain? Doesn’t the fear itself consume his thoughts and edge out any room for love? There can be no room for love where there is fear. It has a way of demanding center stage. Once entry is allowed, fear has a way of expanding and creeping into all the good in one’s life. Demolishing it slowly and eradicating love or the possibility of its existence. For only in darkness and solitude, trapped in a pit can one be from hurt…or so one thinks. Because once the eyes are fully open, one sees that it is a dark lonely place without love.  And ironically, unavoidably, pain finds a way to seep in as well.

I know men and women who are afraid to hurt again, so much so that they insulate themselves with either weight gain, or with other distractions. Perhaps they don’t see this, but interestingly enough their children do. Loved ones and friends see it, but may not feel the person is receptive to their observations, so they choose silence.

As long as we draw breath we lay ourselves open to hurt.  And that’s without choosing to love, we are still vulnerable to pain.  Pain doesn’t evade any one.  It is not reserved only for those who choose to love.  To not love is to experience pain. To love is to experience pain.  I believe the key lies in the awakening of ones spirit to God, and to embrace a newfound definition of what love is. It is not some fragile web that snares us, but rather so tough and sturdy is its’ hold and power, that this Love of God’s will see us out of any pit.

Who do we think we are? How grandiose it is to think that we cannot survive any pain? What makes us so special that our pain is worse than that of another’s? Isn’t this a selfish act itself? That we think our world is more tragic and painful than let’s say, an Auschwitz or Hiroshima survivor? What relationship pain is so great that it can break us? If we love and the one we love hurts us, is this the greatest pain on earth?

 And how about Jesus’ pain as he was flogged with flesh piercing instruments, nailed to the cross and spat upon? Is that the pain we will walk through? If so, then maybe there’s cause for “real” fear.  But even Christ, though he prayed to be spared of it, took it with His Father by His side. And today, what pain can be greater than this to fear? Are we better than Christ that we believe we don’t need our Father also beside us on this walk? If we are in His will, should we not be faithful to His Love toward us, and know that He has our back? He has our spiritual best interest as the alpha and omega for our existence. It cannot be as trivial as we will break if we suffer.

I am thankful. There isn’t a moment in the years hence the suicide that I do not see a gift emerging from the pain. I thank God even for this pain, for it has prepared me to Love.  It has prepared me not to fear. Having survived such a trauma, makes me see that I can go on, even after a tragedy, even after pain.  Life does indeed go on, and it is as it should be, because I am here for God’s purpose. Therefore, I cannot fear loving again, for love is as vital to life as breath. Oh the joy to love, and to receive love. What else is there more important than to understand the organic nature of an energy that has existed since timeless origin?

Last month I commented on a fellow blogger’s site regarding this topic ( ): “By the way, though I understand once you get hurt, that it only validates your initial conclusion that “This is why I avoid letting myself get close to people.” …keep in mind that love is always a gift. You allowing yourself to care or love another is good for you at so many levels. What the person does with the gift is their good or their bad. But you are better, more evolved and engaged in the growth process that is life, when you exercise love for others. In essence, you also give yourself the gift of living and loving when you decide to love (regardless of outcome). Decide to risk… to love. Without this, you cannot yourself practice and prepare yourself for the man that will arrive who will benefit from your exercising this significant emotion. Without practicing and engaging in love, you risk losing yourself…becoming a shell of a human being, just because some Bozos don’t have the aptitude (emotional and mental) to appreciate you.
Love again….and again….and again…..always choose love.”

Ella Venezia
Copyright © 2012 Ella Venezia. All Rights Reserved. 


  1. In difficult times, I remind myself that Superman is a wimp. Being bullet proof does not make you stronger. Jesus submitted himself to every kind of the deepest pain and overcame it all. That's the kind of strength I want in my life.

    Beautiful post, Ella!

  2. "The best he gave was a shell of himself. Most women accepted that, and many didn’t even notice he was showing up incomplete."
    That statement really resonated. Only a person complete within themselves can recognize when an incomplete person shows up and choose what to do with that situation.
    I really like your emphasis on love, pain, love, light and always moving forward even when you fall backward sometimes. Happy Love Day.

  3. Michael- Thank you for your thoughts on what makes us strong. Even our culture misguides us when defining qualities of "strength." Jesus' strength is awe inspiring, and truly the role model indeed.

    Alvarado- So glad that you found something in this post that resonates with you. I appreciate your observation regarding one who can recognize incompleteness.

    Both- I trully am grateful to you both for expressing support and heart-felt ponderings of your own. You bless me with your words and blog friendship!

    Happy Love day to you and all your loved ones.
    May God Bless you all !
    - Ella


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