Sometimes I find that it can be as difficult to receive love from others as it is to give love. One of the consequences of having a medical disability is that I am having to depend far more on the goodness of others and this is not always easy. In an earlier post I quoted from C.S.Lewis saying that "to love at all is to be vulnerable"*, but I also think that the opposite is also true, i.e. that to receive love is also to be vulnerable. It is a two way street that requires as much openness to receive as it does to give. I know that for myself this was a hard lesson to learn, my pride did not like to feel needy and dependant on others, no matter how kind people can be. It was also hard to trust others, allowing them to see my vulnerability made me wary, wondering what they would do to me, would I be talked down to or spoken of poorly behind my back. Could I trust this person not to exploit my weakness, would they be kind and gentle or impatient and cruel?
It is hard to know at times in advance whether love is sincere, but not everyone is to be treated with skeptical judgement. Sometimes we need to believe in the possibility of goodness and love. We do need to be wise, but we also need to be prepared to trust and simply receive. This back and forward act of love is at the heart of real relationship, the embodiment of it, and it's reward is priceless.