To avoid Love is to find Hell — C.S.Lewis explains

 This is one of my favorite passages from C.S.Lewis from his book The Four Loves:

There is no safe investment. To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart 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. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.I believe that the most lawless and inordinate loves are less contrary to God’s will than a self-invited and self-protective lovelessness…We shall draw nearer to God, not by trying to avoid the sufferings inherent in all loves, but by accepting them and offering them to Him; throwing away all defensive armour. If our hearts need to be broken, and if He chooses this as a way in which they should break, so be it.What I know about love and believe about love and giving ones heart began in this.

In short, to love is to risk and we will feel pain when we love . . . but the alternate of not letting go and feeling free to love is a worse place to be.

In the end, above all else, feel free to love and love without question.

Only then, will we experience true love . . . swing for the fences kiddos, we’ve got a lot of life left ahead of us!

I decided to make this graphic to share with a friend, then I decided to share it with all of you.

(just click on the image below to enlarge and feel free to save this, it’s my gift to all of you)

14 Responses to To avoid Love is to find Hell — C.S.Lewis explains

  1. Lucas says:

    I love that book. And the graphic is incredible! Thank you so much for sharing =)

  2. Korina says:

    This is amazing. You are such an awesome person Aaron.

  3. Broken to Pieces says:

    As someone who has had their heart broken 8 times trying to find love, the most recent just today, I have to say that C.S. Lewis was wrong.

    He seems to forget that losing love, that pain… IS HELL!! So, basically I am damned either way. At least I won’t have to go through the rejection any more.

    Let my heart shrivel and die, let me not feel a thing. I would rather be numb than in pain, better callous than cursed.

    • motorphilia says:

      The hardest thing to do is love like you have never been hurt before. If you keep finding that you get hurt over and over again, stop searching and take time to heal. If you keep swinging from one person to the next you aren’t looking for love, but more of a fix to feel something. You’re not “cursed” but if this pattern repeats itself, you should look into yourself and see how you might be affecting the outcome. I know of a great girl who is a good example of self-sabotaging her relationships because she’s always in fear of the person she is in love with leaving her. She doesn’t see this, but her fear has pushed away some great guys . . . and I know from past experience, that I wasn’t much better at this. It takes a lot of faith to love someone . . . more than you think you could ever have. By loving someone deeply though all that comes, we learn how to love others better and how to become better people. Hang in there. Self pity will take you no where. Don’t ever ever ever ever ever give up. . . all things that are of great value don’t come easy and they are hard to find. This is what makes them special. I’ve felt the feelings you are expressing and it’s hard to believe now, but they are a myth . . . a hoax . . . and not real. They come from you asking, “what does this person give to me?”, but not from “what can I do to help this person?”

      A wise man once said to me, “Loneliness is the illusion we are tricked into feeling when we stop thinking of others and only of ourselves . . . it’s a disease and we can fight it the moment we chose to put others before us.”

      If you don’t believe me . . . try it . . . don’t talk about it . . . help others and find connection and never ever give up.

  4. Nina says:

    SO good. I was trying to find out where that C.S. Lewis quote came from! Deep and powerful. Thank you!

  5. motorphilia says:

    It comes from his book “The Four Loves”

  6. Alexis says:

    I think he is right bur in some ways wrong. Having your heart broken is a tragedy. And the only way you can be sure its safe is to lock it up even though you will never get it back. Just put up all the armor you have. That way you wont have someone break you. You will do it yourself.Thats what i did. It kills you slowly inside but once its lock up its gone forever

  7. lol says:

    Comparing not giving love to selfishness is bs. I can share and be happy around my friends dedicating my life to a community instead to a single person. How is that selfish?

    I’ve been heartbroken so many times I’ve decided love or relationships like that are just not for me, I may not live a life of plenitude, but I won’t call it hell. I find solace in my work and friends and thats all that matters to me.

  8. Isabel says:

    The point I think C.S. Lewis was trying to get across is that if we don’t love others, we don’t love God. It’s not necessarily talking about romantic relationships, but those too. I am a person who doesn’t trust easily, but when I love someone, I truly love them. It’s like his two greatest commandments “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your sould, with all your strength, and with all your mind.” And “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” I think Lewis is going beyond the romantic relationship and saying that even in friendships, which hopefully we all love our friends, but we’re going to get hurt in those. We’re going to get hurt if we love our cats/dogs/horses/guinea pigs..etc. But to not love at all with just cripple us. And not everyone is going to get married. Not everyone will find their “one true loves.” But I think we’ll be more satisfied when we stop looking for them and rely on God that He will provide for us. Oh, by the way, fantastic quote. And your graphic is incredible.

  9. angei says:

    Love is as precious as breath

  10. CeceD says:

    This is a profound quote, one of Lewis’s best, I think. Love is as love does. My whole life, from my earliest memory till my early forties, taught me that love is conditional, and it is betrayal. But when I was around three years old, I experienced an angel encounter, and believe the openness/willingness in my heart was preserved.
    After the divorce, I kept thinking about the infant that God breathed life into the moment of my birth. “He knew who I was,” I thought. “Adn that’s who I want to be.” The journey has been long, rocky, and winding. But I can honestly say that the love of self, as God created me, spills on everyone I meet. I am single, and happily so. The loss alnd longing I knew in my younger days is gone, replaced by a peace “beyond all human understanding.” Perhaps there will be a partner for me in this season of my life. And perhaps not. Either way, I will celebrate life, and strive to shine His light with everyone I meet.

  11. Riley says:

    Thanks for the picture. I’m a Chaplain an I was looking for this quote to give someone and your picture made it much more special than just me typing it out. Bless you 🙂

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