We Must Not Fear Love

If we refuse to love for fear of loss, we remain closed off from God

There are those who fear commitment for fear of loss. They fear the other will either leave them, or be lost in death, so they remain aloof from any possible relationship. Some put on a façade of indifference, for fear of rejection, depriving themselves of any possible happiness. In fear of possible loss, they become the ultimate losers, for the happiness that comes in a committed relationship, evades them. If they don’t love another, they need not fear losing that love.

Some, having lost a loved one, and fearing a repeat of that loss, guard against further commitments. They believe it is safe to keep themselves at a distance from others, for in doing so they think they will not suffer loss in the future.

When we refuse to be vulnerable by giving ourselves over to a committed relationship, we deprive ourselves of one of the most fundamental aspects of what it means to be human. When we fear loss, we are hard pressed to live a life of courage, for it is in living courageously that we are able to fully participate in life, and become fully human.

Grieving the loss of a relationship, either by death or breakup, is just as important to the maturation of our heart as having a long term relationship, for in grieving we allow ourselves to stay connected to others, and remain openhearted to what God has for us. If fear of loss disables us, we may not be able to risk having anything that really matters to us, for by throwing courage to the side, we deprive ourselves of the touch and the intimacy that helps us open our hearts to all that God has in store for us.

Grieving is the way we can be healed from loss, and, in turn, be open to relationships that can make our life more complete, and more fulfilled. Many people do not allow themselves to grieve, so they deprive themselves of relationships that can lead to a spiritual growth that only comes through suffering loss.

We grow stronger when we allow ourselves to grieve when we’ve experienced loss, for grieving is one of the most fundamental of life’s skills. It is the way the heart can heal from loss and go on to love again, and in doing so, grow wise. If we refuse to love another, for fear of loss, we remain closed off from not only others, but from God. “He who does not love remains in death (1 John 3:14).”

Love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

About the author

Fr. Tryphon is the Abbot of the Monastery of the All-Merciful Saviour, which was established in 1986 by Archimandrite Dimitry (Egoroff) of blessed memory. The Monastery is under the omophore of His Eminence Kyrill, Archbishop of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

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