For most of my life I did a great job keeping people at a distance. Without even realizing it I told myself, “DON’T LOVE. You will get hurt!”
So I lived an angry life instead.
Things have changed.
I have allowed myself to love.
I have built deep friendships.
I have let people see my heart.
Why so scary? Because even when no one is intentionally trying to hurt me…
Sometimes my heart hurts.
And then comes grief.
My stepdad gave me a Webster’s dictionary for my 13th birthday. I spent lots of time in that thing because I wanted to have the right answers. I believed Webster. So imagine my surprise when I started learning that there might be a different way to define certain words in life.
Grief. I used to think grief was only for when someone died. In fact, the definition I found from good old Webster says grief is, “deep sadness caused especially from someone’s death.” Since I have learned that Webster isn’t always right, I decided to look for a better definition. I like this one. “Grief is the conflicting feelings caused by the end of or change in a familiar pattern of behavior.”
I can grieve when people move out of my life… even if they are still alive and well.
I can grieve when someone I care about is sick or hurting.
I can grieve when a weekly group meeting comes to a close.
I can grieve when life gets too busy to be able to spend time with the people I like being with.
I can even grieve when my car breaks down.
Grieving is hard to do… it hurts… but it certainly beats my old way, denial. Denying my heart the opportunity to grieve kept all those feelings inside me festering and turning to anger, which inevitably hurt the people closest to me.
I have learned to love. I think I’m actually pretty good at it.
But love comes with a high price.
It’s worth every penny.