You’ve seen the quote ”dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, love like you’ve never been hurt’… But have you spent much time thinking about it?
I have it engraved on stone hanging on my wall and I noticed it yesterday… Especially the last line.
Love like you’ve never been hurt.
How is this done? For those of us who are the walking wounded, who have been hurt one too many times to count, feeling like reaching out one more time simply might be the death of you -risking again… For what? Perhaps we need a little help to get there.
Loving, risking, losing. Start over.
Loving, risking, losing… Again and again, stung by betrayal, abandonment, loss. Rejection.
As the ice melts from my frozen heart, and spring has come to fill my soul afresh, I feel my wounds heal.I have been taught humility by my circumstance.
The world does not revolve around me. I saw a friend, deeply wounded, and saw how she held onto love despite the pain she faced. I looked within myself and saw my inadequacy. I saw that I grappled with mercy and grace and judgments towards those who’ve offended me. How hard it was to let it go and set them free & embrace humility. My pride and resentment kept me trapped in a prison of my own making. Bitterness.
I had been trying to forgive – wrestling with it, trying to let go of the pain, but the pain had become my only friend, and my protector. The ice around my heart began to form to protect my heart from further injury. I became numb. And broken. What used to function normally- the ability to love, felt frozen behind a wall of insecurity, fear of being hurt again, fear of loss and pain became my comfort. But in the hardening of my heart what came next was isolation.
Man was not meant to be alone.
I’d forgotten how to love at all.
Yet alone to love like I’ve never been hurt.
The secret is forgiveness. Not for them but me. Unforgiveness is like a poison you drink yourself.
‘Forgiveness is nothing more and nothing less than an act of self healing – an act of self-empowerment – no longer a prisoner to my tragic past, that I was finally free’.
The above quote was taken from Eva Kor, a survivor of the Holocaust and the experiments of Joseph Mengele at Auschwitz 50 years ago, who was able to forgive her oppressors in the very place they took away her freedom, her innocence and her family.
Forgiveness is a process as it takes time to heal, for sure.
But humility and recognizing our own weaknesses and sins can help us give grace to those who have injured us. Grace is a lesson I am learning. I have never been very proficient at it. Without being aware, I have battled with my own sense of self-righteousness and would cling to my right for justice, all the while knowing that mercy triumphs over justice. But still I held on to the ‘why me’, ‘it’s not fair’, victim mentality. It wasn’t my fault. So why did this happen to me?
Now I see the error of my ways, my own pride and am humbled by my own vanity.
How do you love like you’ve never been hurt? Without walls of fear or anger or pain or pride to protect you? I knew it in my head, but it needed to penetrate to my heart… Let go of the need to be in control. Let go of the pain and trust God with your heart’s protection.
Let go of fear and give it to God to hold onto. Perfect love drives out fear.
I saw myself in the garden of Eden, along with Adam and Eve, hiding themselves from God.
‘Where are you?’ He called out to them?
‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself’ Adam replied.
So true. Our vulnerabilities make us feel naked. Our awareness of our sinful nature cause us to feel humiliated so that we hide. We feel alone. We believe we must defend ourselves and hide. Hide from more hurt. Hide from awareness of our own flaws. Hide from the effects of other’s sin against us.
God was reaching out to them, but they couldn’t see that because of their own shame and independence from him. Unable to turn to the only one who could help them, they locked themselves in their independence and separateness from him, left to their own devices to protect themselves from harm, little knowing that their own efforts were causing them to open themselves to vulnerability in harmful ways. But deceived, they believed they were protecting their vulnerability instead.
By holding onto control, we leave ourselves more exposed to harm and falsely believe our walls of independence -the belief that we can handle it on our own – will protect us from further vulnerability and further harm. But it is only an illusion.
The only way to love like you’ve never been hurt, is to let go of our attempts to control the outcome of events. Control is an illusion. I can’t control what others do or don’t do, I can only take responsibility for my own actions.
Fear is not my friend. It is not a good protector. It blocks us from the ability to love.
To love like I’ve never been hurt requires me to trust God with my pain, my fear, my inadequate ability to effectively protect myself, and believe that even when I don’t understand, that He will somehow work all things together for the ultimate good.