It's been a few weeks - and I've missed it. Every Friday, Lisa-Jo Baker invites us to stop, drop and write for 5 minutes of unedited thinking on the prompt for the week. It's a fun community, with lots of participants and lots of takes on each week's subject. Hop on over and check it out. And then - try it, you'll like it!
This week's topic? RISK
I asked my mother about love one day.
"What's it like, Mom? Is it hard to say, 'I love you?'"
"Honey," she said to me. "It's the scariest three word sentence in the English language."
"Why?" I asked, all wide-eyed innocence at age 17, new to the ways of dating and romance.
"Because, sweet girl," she replied, looking at me with soft eyes, "love is a risk."
"What?" I exclaimed. "Why is love risky?"
"When you say 'I love you' to another person, you're giving them a part of your heart. And you can't know what they're going to do with your precious self. When you say 'I love you,' you risk having your heart broken."
"Oh," I sighed. "But tell me, do you think it's worth the risk?"
"Oh.My.Yes. It is worth the risk."
She turned me to face her, touching each shoulder and looking me right in the eyes.
"To love another human person is just about the biggest risk there is, honey. But - and this is so hard for me to say because I love you so much and I never want you to be hurt - but . . . to live your life without love is far worse than a broken heart. It is better to explore the feelings, to say them out loud and to bear the pain of rejection than to never allow yourself to love. Do you believe me about this?"
With a very deep sigh, and a bit of a shudder, too, I answered, "Yeah, Mom. I do believe you. But I feel sorta shaky inside. And really scared."
"It's okay to be scared. It's not okay to never risk being hurt."
I have NO CLUE why this one came pouring out today. This was a conversation that happened 50 years ago. FIFTY.