“When you think of love, do you think of pain?” How many of us are carrying around all the pains of what we experienced as the result of an open heart? These song lyrics struck a chord in my heart. I loved with all of my heart, and then the person who I loved died. My heart was broken. 2 ½ years has shown me that we have the tremendous ability to heal and mend our wounds, and that the desire to give and receive love is as natural as anything… And so then, in moving on from a broken heart (all in our own natural timing, of course), what do we want to carry forward into the future, into our next experience of love? Cause those lyrics, “when you think of love do you think of pain,” resonated me with very deeply because when I think of Mitch, yes, I think of the love we shared, but I also think of the sheer earth shattering pain of what it was to lose him… and do I want to carry that pain and that fear of loss into the next relationship? Cause I know now, death is a real possibility, break-ups, betrayals, they are all real possibilities, but do I want to carry around a shield to protect myself from those potential heart-breakers, or do I want to be mindful that those potentials exist and risk loving anyway? Cause the thing is, it feels so good to love, and it feels so good to receive love, it feels so natural… So, to hold it all, cause the potential in living with an open-heart is to experience the greatest love and the greatest pain. And in playing it safely, am I really willing to forgo loving again with all that I am? No, and that is a choice we make, and it’s a choice that takes courage, especially if we’re wise to how painful it can feel, and also to how damn good it can feel. And so I can choose to look back with the fondest of memories, knowing that a heart open to love is a beautiful thing indeed.