“All adventures, especially into new territory, are scary,” says astronaut, Sally Ride. I often say that the greatest adventure in life is to love and be loved truly, deeply, passionately. Why is this such a scary adventure? Because we must risk opening our heart to love.
What are we so afraid of?
Here are some possibilities:
Loving and not being loved in return
Exposing your authentic self and not being accepted
Sharing your dreams and getting ridiculed
Trusting and getting betrayed
Loving deeply and suffering the loss of love
Believing in someone and being disappointed
Growing forward while leaving your partner behind
Giving your all and not being good enough
Falling for a fraud and being a fool for love
Being generous and being loved for money
Bonding with your heart and soul while being unappreciated
Bouncing back from heartbreak and being hurt again
What other risks might guard your heart from love?
Jot them down now, and then look over this list of risks.
Now add to your list the greatest risk:
Risking nothing and being chained down by fear.
By risking nothing and guarding your heart, you’re giving up your freedom to love. You might avoid the suffering and sorrow of loss, betrayal, rejection, and disappointment. Yet you also avoid learning, laughing, feeling, growing, changing, loving and living your dreams.
Only those who risk are free to enjoy the adventure in loving and be loved deeply, truly, passionately. I’m not encouraging you to take reckless risks for love that endanger you or your children. I do encourage you to feel your fear of taking an emotional risk, and open your heart to love anyway.
Our hearts are love muscles that bounce back from most disappointments, except one–guarding your heart against love. It paralyzes your heart. You will exercise and strengthen your heart each time you embrace your fear and take a risk to love and be loved in return.
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