Be Vulnerable and Open Your Heart to Others
Alright, well good morning my friends!
Welcome to Live Inspired with John O’Leary, our LIVE Facebook version on this Wednesday morning, as the sun continues to rise- this time over my right shoulder.
I welcome you into another Wednesday morning, and into a vlog that we talk about today, the epidemic of loneliness. It’s something we’re talking about in our community this week, and that epidemic is something that’s effecting the vast majority of us in our lives. Our sense of isolation, our sense of feeling
alone, this belief that we are doing life all by ourselves, and that the best days are not in front of us, but actually behind us.
So, if you ever feel that way, know this first- You are not alone.
I’ve been there.
I think the majority of the folks that are tuning in right now have been there with us.
So, what are we doing with these sensations, these feelings, these emotions of being isolated, cut off, and in some regards done with life?
Well about six years ago, I was having a coffee meeting with a dear friend, a lifelong friend, and he shared this quote with me: I’m just done.
“O’Leary, I’m just done. I’m just done.”
What he was suggesting was not that he was done with life, but that he was kind of done in his marriage. He wasn’t going to walk out on it, but he was done investing himself fully in it. That he was sick of the way he was being treated at home. Sick of the way he was being treated at work. Sick of the way life was going on, and so what he suggested to me was this:
“I’m just going to stop pouring myself into other people. I’m going to be a little bit more selfish. I’m going to be a little bit less giving. I’m going to be a lot less vulnerable. And I’m going to be a little bit more about me. And I think I’m going to be a little more safe in that regard.”
To that response, I told my dear buddy- and maybe he’s tuning in right now- I shared with him this quote from C.S. Lewis. It’s one that I read years ago and one that I still love deeply and dearly today.
So, I’m going to share this one with you right now. It’s moderately long, so take a big sip of coffee (I’ll join you in that regard.), but I think you’re going to love it.
So here it is from C.S. Lewis!
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
My friends, in this world we all live in, there is an epidemic of loneliness going on. It seems like the more we keep this stuff to ourselves, the more safe that we will become, the safer our lives and relationships may move themselves forward with.
But the reality is this: our hearts will become irredeemable. They will become unbreakable. And they will become an ugly, lonely place.
Mother Teresa, another one of our leaders that I look up to and respect and just really, really love, talks about doing it anyway. In spite of all the risks and challenges that we face in life, in spite of all the stuff we’re dealing with and the fact that we will fail in many of these endeavors, the reality is this: You’ve got to do it anyway!
You’ve got to do it anyway!
So, in this world of isolation, my encouragement is to do it anyway. To risk, to be bold, to keep your heart wide open and on fire for life.
My friend and I had not just a three minute vlog to share with one another like you and I have right now, but the rest of a coffee meeting and the six years that followed it. But what I can share with you is this: he is as engaged in his marriage and as engaged in his work, as he has ever been. Not because of anything I’ve said to him, but because of his own decision to continually be bold and vulnerable.
To risk everything going forward.
To do it anyway!
If you want to learn a little bit more about how you can do it anyway in your own life, how you can remain not isolated but engaged in the community (whatever community you find yourself in), I encourage you to dance over after this vlog to our Live Inspired podcast.
I have an incredible guest on this week. She talks about not only the epidemic of loneliness, but the solution to it. It’s beautiful. You’re going to love it. You’re going to be enriched by it. You’ll be on fire through it.
So, check out the Live Inspired Podcast with John O’Leary.
My friends, I love you. I remind you that your best days are not behind you, but are absolutely in front of you.
So, for this time and until next time, this is John O’Leary.
This is your day.
Do it anyway.
And live inspired.