What is Love? Baby Don't Hurt Me…

Daily Meditation #306–12/25/2022


How often do we hear something like:

“I will never love again…”
Or “Love is a scam.”
Even, “I have walls up to keep myself safe from love.”

We treat the most cherished and powerful emotional feelings like it’s a plague.


Love is not something to be afraid of.

It is something we should embrace. 

there is definitely a self-damaging invitation within love, but it is the ultimate sacrifice we can opt to choose.

We fall in love with our spouses. Children. Pets. The birds and squirrels we feed.

We fall in love with them knowing full well at the outset it will eventually end for one of us with the others’ death.

And that is utterly gut-wrenching.

But we should still do it anyway.

We should still be willing to sacrifice our time, energy, resources and potentially mental state just to have a chance to experience the most unbelievable and unparalleled peak human feeling.

Yes, you should go in understanding full well that you could be cheated, heartbroken, or potentially worse, but…
That’s life.

You can only understand and control yourself, fully, and have utterly no choice except to trust others.

Some will betray your trust.

But not all.

Every day, your trust is not betrayed by so many, yet you take it for granted:

Your taxi driver doesn’t wreck you.
Your pilot safely takes off and lands.
Your cubicle mate who brought “gluten free” cupcakes didn’t lie about its content.
The drivers ahead of you won’t unexpectedly slam on their brakes and make you rear-end them.
The can of peaches you opened (peaches for me!) were properly packed and shipped and are safe to eat, botulism free.

You extend your trust hundreds — maybe thousands — of times every single day.

To insist you are living with “walls around your heart” to protect you from love is just making you miss out.

I’m not telling you to go out and start swinging like a monkey on a vine…
But tomorrow, go into the world and track 3 times someone didn’t break your trust.

Is your coffee order right?
Did anyone park next to you and ding your door?
How many people passed you on the street without picking your pocket?

Guard your heart — this is still prudent advice! — but, at the same time, be open to love. 

A first time.
A third…
A twentieth.

Is the potential pain of a sting from love not still worth the aching inside of being in love and having it truly reciprocated?

Life is short.
Don’t be afraid of the little death that heartbreak brings.

Love. Love hard…
For we will all be dead, and on all our deathbeds (if we even get a deathbed), not one of us will shake our fist and yell “I’m glad I bitterly protected myself from experiencing pain and heartbreak!”

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

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