I was gifted a complete set of the ‘Chronicles of Narnia’ as a precocious eight year old. C.S Lewis opened the door to a new universe of high fantasy in which I took great delight exploring. I have read the books again and again and each time found fresh insights in the text. Like old friends, I know they will always be there when I wish to spend time with them once more.
Recently I have been reading other works from what is an impressively large collection. ‘The 4 Loves’ is one that I keep picking up in my search for a simple (and spiritual) framework on which to hang the competing ideas and emotions that clutter my head and my heart, a framework on which I can distinguish that which is truthful and beautiful from the hollow and deceptive.
Love can be as complicated as you would like to make it. Or not. I think it all depends on how you view yourself, how far you let your ego and needs into a relationship, any relationship, be it with a friend, a lover, family or God. I also believe that an individual’s understanding or perhaps misunderstanding of what ‘love’ is, plays a role in both how and who we choose to have relationships with, choose to love.
I know that there is a lot that I still don’t understand, a myriad questions that I still have; mostly related to the hurt and pain that to some degree seem to accompany love. Death in the family, the death of a spouse, the death of a relationship, it all hurts. Sometimes it feels easier not to love at all. Yet I am certain that, being human, we must love. After all, it is what makes the world go ‘round…
The following quote is taken from C.S. Lewis’ ‘The 4 Loves’.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to 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.”