A recent dialogue concerning the following poem had me deep diving into my own words, “If you are afraid of the thorn, you truly don’t deserve the rose.”

A reader mentioned being cautious and how their own fear of being hurt in love doesn’t mean they don’t deserve love. True, I suppose. But in that same caution and fear one is blocking the full capacity of love a person deserves.

There are times when caution is wise. Perhaps I throw caution to the wind more than I should, but for me to fully experience the joys and highs of living, I must risk pain. People have become dreadfully fearful, particularly in love, and in so doing have become numb and sabotage genuine joy, and dare I say, even ecstasy.

For what is love if it does not contain elements of, yes, ecstasy! You must know, there is always pain in life and in love, but it doesn’t mean you stop living or stop loving. I propose less fear when it comes to love.

Allow yourself to open up, be vulnerable and watch how the beauty of love – the rose – enraptures your being. When one is constantly on guard, overly cautious and fearful, they block so much goodness, so much light that could be enveloping them with infinite beauty. There are times you simply must let go of fear, and just allow yourself to be completely vulnerable, even at the expense of pain.

Let yourself feel, really feel, and that means there very well could be heartbreak and pain. To love and be loved, to truly feel, is always a risk, but to me life is about taking chances. Caress the rose even if in the process you get hurt. There is nothing greater than experiencing the high of love, ultimately basking in love’s beauty and joys.

When we worry about the possible thorn we’ve already closed ourselves up to the miracle and magic of life. I don’t want to be hurt just like the next guy doesn’t want to be hurt, but I’m an intense person and when I love I give my all. And when someone loves me I want the same. No walls, no guardrails, just fall with me, even if that means we both get pricked by the thorn. The ecstasy of love, for me, is removing the barricade and by so doing I am risking my heart. However, I would rather risk pain than risk not experiencing the full beauty of the rose, which is love.

One of my favorite things is taking long walks outside in the fresh air. I walk, rain or shine. I don’t deliberately set out to stroll if there is a chance of heavy rain. I do keep an eye on the weather. Unexpected downpours happen, but I won’t let the fear of getting drenched stop me from doing what I so enjoy. So I set out on my journey by foot and about half way suddenly a dark cloud hovers over me, then a savage rain. It’s happened more than once. It’s a risk I take walking, even when I know the unexpected may occur. I would do it again and again, and I do because life is still beautiful in the pouring rain. Heavy showers striking my skin, sometimes even almost blinding me isn’t comfortable, but what I enjoy before and even during the downpour is worth the temporary discomfort. Ah, the wonder of nature, even in its glorious disarray! And while it pours, I end up with an incredible workout for my heart, body and mind. It isn’t comfortable in the midst of sloshing home, but it is so worth it in the end.

I’m an avid walker and live in a stormy climate, hence this example. I can’t stop walking because of possible inclement weather. To me that would be like a part of me stopped living. I can’t stop loving and being vulnerable because of possible heartache and pain. That would be death for me. Yes, use caution if you feel you must, but don’t let fear rule your life. Don’t be drenched in the downpour of fear, unless you want to live in your own self-inflicted cage, if you can even call that living.

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