Pride looks to receive. Fear looks to what can be lost. Love looks to give.
A friend shared this insight with me this summer. I turned the thought over in my mind, exploring the many implications it had for my life at the time. Now, six months or so later, the changes in my life have brought an entirely new perspective to the statement.
I am really struggling to deal with my life right now for a smattering of reasons. Without delving into that complexity, suffice it to say that I am almost paralyzed by fear because I do not trust. While six months ago, I was struck by the insight on pride, I am currently exploring the multiplicity of ways that fear plays into my life. I am so afraid. Terrified to lose. To lose my relationship with a friend who came into my life unexpectedly and quite possibly understands me better than I understand myself. To lose my freedom and independence and become constrained and repressed. To lose the very desires and opportunites that I so desperately long for at times. To lose the semblance of control that I attempt to maintain in my life. I am so overwhelmed by these fears that I am slowly becoming paralyzed – incapable of dealing with life. I am overwhelmed. I over-analyze each and every situation. I worry about life so ridiculously far in the future. Ironically, as I make plans for five and six years from now, I do not know where I will be in nine months. I could be where I am now. I could be in Staffordshire, England. I simply don’t know yet. While that freaks me out just a little, it is not nearly causing me as much concern as looking at graduate schools. Or thinking about what career I might want to pursue. Or if I will ever be in a relationship. Will I ever see myself for who I really am? What am I doing with my life? Am I pursuing God? Am I listening to Him? What will the legacy of my life be? Will I have touched people? Shown them that I care? Loved them? What will the trace of my existence be?
A thousand thoughts fly through my mind at any given moment. Some vanish; some bear further introspection. While pondering such musings, I should remember to focus my perspective. If I am looking to love, what am I willing to give? Am I willing to be vulnerable? To give of myself? To pour myself into my relationships? To be the best friend that I can be? To be there for people? To sacrifice? Am I willing to love? After all, isn’t it better to have love and lost, than to not have loved at all?