In Others’ Words: Brokenhearted

Full to love is vulnerable. Lewis. 2014


So my daughter, CJ, has been doing the graphics for my quotes the past six weeks or so. I find the photos, I find the quotes … and she puts the two together for me in a creative way. She enjoys being creative and she’s good at it. And letting her combine the quote and the graphic frees up my time and was a tremendous help when I was on deadline.

As I gave her the information for today’s post, she said, “You’ve used this quote already, Mom.”

“Excuse me?”

“You’ve used this quote already — To love is to be vulnerable.”

Okay then. My reply was something like “Well, I haven’t used the entire quote yet, so we’re going with it.”


My favorite line of the entire quote? Love anything and your heart will be wrung and quite possibly broken. And to that:  If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. 

I still remember my family huddling around our golden lab, Midas, as we struggled to say goodbye to him. The tears we shed. The sobs that filled the room once he was gone. And that was two and a half years ago.

We love our pets fiercely.

We love people fiercely too. With abandon. Hearts become entangled … and hurt. Because what C.S. Lewsi says is true: While love is sometimes a many splendored thing, it is also a powerful force … a choice that leaves us open to hurt. To betrayal. To loss.

But if I had to choose a safe, dark casket or a life fully available to love well, I’d accept that love is risky business. And I’d risk.

In Your Words: What’s your favorite line from C.S. Lewis’s quote about love? And if you had to fill in the blank, how would you finish the sentence “To love is to be _______________?”


[Tweet “Is love worth a broken heart? #lifequotes #CSLewis”] [Tweet “Love anything … and your heart will be wrung and possibly be broken. #lifequotes #risk”]

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 4.29.39 PM



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  1. August 25, 2014, 12:28 am   /  Reply

    Can I modify the quote, just a bit, when I fill in the blank?

    “To truly love is to offer one’s previous life as a sacrifice, for there can be nothing held in reserve. The heart does not survive hoarding.”

    I love C.S.Lewis, but I don’t agree that the hoarded heart becomes hard (like the alliteration?). It draws into itself, like a toad in the desert, bereft of water.

    But there is always hope. Always. The toad needs a good, soaking storm, and the recused heart can be reached through the hurricane of heartbreak.

    Every heart has its price – its ransom.

  2. August 25, 2014, 6:34 am   /  Reply

    What a great idea–to ask your daughter for help. It builds creativity and confidence. I love that!

    To finish that quote I’d have to modify it a little too. “For a child to love she must first be loved.”
    This kind of goes along with the theme in my latest novel about a Russian teen orphan who’s never really experienced a mother’s love. Many orphans and foster children suffer from RAD, reactive attachment disorder. They’re unable to love others because they were never shown love.

    I look forward to your posts, Beth. I hope you have a great day!

    • August 25, 2014, 7:00 am   /  Reply

      Amen to that. Learning to love, when coming from a childhood bereft of that oxygen for the soul, is very, very hard. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

      And even when one can cautiously start believing in the possibility of love, it’s fragile. Kind of like trying to coax an injured feral cat out of hole.You can do it with patience, but move too fast and POOF! you’re starting over again, but with freshly broken trust.

      • August 25, 2014, 7:36 am   /  Reply

        You share a vivid word picture about the need for trust in relationships … and how tenuous it can be.

    • August 25, 2014, 7:34 am   /  Reply

      It’s fun to work together with my daughter!
      And I agree with you: for a child to love they must first be loved. Poignant truth.

  3. August 25, 2014, 7:01 am   /  Reply

    Hi Beth,

    Two things I “love” about your post today. Your daughter helps you pull it together. And your daughter called you on using a quote again. I have sons, and you better believe they would have called me on the same thing, IF they’d noticed. Actually they probably would have noticed.

    “To love is to be alive.” How sad life would be without love.

    Great post!

    • August 25, 2014, 7:37 am   /  Reply

      Hi, Jackie:
      My daughter keeps me on top of lots of things.
      And I love that she has the freedom to do that — respectfully of course. 😉
      Yes, to love is to be alive. Great truth there!

  4. August 25, 2014, 7:56 am   /  Reply

    I love that your daughter is helping you…do you think she would consider….
    I cannot imagine the dynamics of a child not being loved even though I’ve seen it in action.

    To love is to be risked; the alternative is death. To the heart. To the soul. Eventually to the body.

    • August 25, 2014, 9:02 am   /  Reply

      You never know, Pat … she just might! 😉

      And yes, love is a risk … and the lack of love leads to death: emotional, spiritual and physical.

  5. August 26, 2014, 8:31 am   /  Reply

    I’m a day late, but I love this post. Love is a risk to heart, mind, soul and spirit. My favorite line is one you quoted: “Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.” Such truth there.

    Let’s see: “To love is to be willing to face rejection, able to embrace when wronged, accepting of love given back to you.”

  6. September 2, 2014, 8:44 pm   /  Reply

    Makes me think of the movie Shadowlands about the life of C.S. Lewis. Joy (his wife) says, “The pain now is part of the happiness then. That’s the deal.” I’m starting to appreciate the bittersweetness of life.

    I love all that CJ is doing with the graphics. I made one of them my screen saver.

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