“To love is to be vulnerable.” The final sentence of one of my favorite quotes by CS Lewis. I have often pondered my conflicting desires to be vulnerable but also independent. I like to prove myself, that I can do things on my own without help. But then I almost wish for abasement in order to be at *their* mercy. Which, as I think about it is a very selfish and ego-centric view of vulnerability. For a person to be truly vulnerable, it cannot be contrived or a manipulation of the powerful. I’m afraid I’m too strong to be vulnerable. I have trained myself to be self-sufficient and independent, or at least to appear that way. Wrapping my dreams in a gauze of isolation, silence, and independence, I prefer to keep you at arm’s length because I am safer.
Having felt the sting of rejection, I must now barricade myself behind the many different masks I shape for myself. They line shelf after shelf along my walls. Their existence has grown so customary and accepted that I think I sometimes forget to leave that room. Much like the ritual of not getting up until the alarm has gone of four or five times, I know my patterns so well that it is near impossible for me to appear without a layer of plaster sheltering me from the prying, caring eyes.
“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.”
If I had one wish, I would wish for the knowledge of one, just one, truth about myself. Because now that I have arrived at the belief that I am too strong, too walled-in…I must necessarily introduce the thought: “You’re being egotistical and self-centered to think that you epitomize the loveless heart.” If I were a philosophy, it would be one that changed like the waves.
“I don’t like thinking; it hurts too much.” – Clara (Adventures in Odyssey)
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