Keeping Our Hearts Safe

This is a favorite quote of mine from CS Lewis, one of my favorite authors. Most people know him as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, but he was a leading Christian intellectual of the 20th century with a number of excellent books on and in defense of the Christian faith. I am a very big fan of The Four Loves and the Great Divorce, although anything he has written is worth your time.  He also has a wonderful adult novel based on the myth of Psyche called ‘Til We Have Faces, that I return to again and again.

The reason I love this quote is that it is a reminder that life and living will sometimes involve pain, but the price of not experiencing that pain is too high to pay. Besides, I tried it for a number of years and it really didn’t work out. This quote provides me with the necessary courage to risk that hurt in order to live more fully. I hope it can help you as well.

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 to 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 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.”

  1. marleym6
    July 14, 2012 at 3:46 pm

    So true, so true, AG. And a great reminder. Have you heard of the Sci-fi Trilogy for adults…called Perlandria? (or something like that) It too is an interesting read.


    • July 18, 2012 at 9:52 pm

      Hi Marley,
      Glad you also liked that reminder. I did read the Sci-fi trilogy and loved it. Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. I think Perelandra was my favorite; there’s a description near the end of our being both at the center and on the periphery of creation simultaneously that I found so very powerful. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂



  2. Starrynights
    July 14, 2012 at 11:05 pm


    Thank you….



  3. July 15, 2012 at 12:57 am

    Thank you … I needed this reminder!


    • July 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      Hi Amanda, so glad that it was timely for you also. Evidently, we were all on the same page this week. 🙂


  4. Strummergirl
    July 15, 2012 at 7:45 am

    Thank you AG, I remember reading this a long time ago but really needed this reminder too. What a strange paradox he points out…C.S. Lewis is awesome!! And so are you 🙂


    • July 18, 2012 at 9:55 pm

      ((((SG)))) SO good to hear from you and of course you love CS Lewis. 🙂 I have a love for the paradoxes that live at the heart of the truth, I know BN and I often talk about them. I didn’t connect that part of why I love CS Lewis is his ability to portray them so powerfully and so clearly. And I think you’re awesome too. 🙂


  5. July 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm

    Yes, there’s that concept again about vulnerability and being alive, or not feeling and being dead. We have lived this. It’s always good to be reminded of the alternatives, and the results; life or death. Thank you for the reminder.


    • July 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm

      I love that way you phrased that: “vulnerability and being alive, or not feeling and being dead,” That’s it in a nutshell. I spent a lot of years dead, when I want to run from the pain, I try to remember what that felt like.


  6. Cat's Meow
    July 27, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    Did you see the movie “Shadowlands” about his life? It was inspiring in a heart rending sort of way.


    • July 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Cat’s Meow (great name!),
      Welcome to my blog and thanks for commenting. Saw and loved the movie and then read the book. Joy Davis was a fascinating woman in her own right. And you’re right, it was inspiring in a heart rending sort of way.



      • cat's meow
        August 1, 2012 at 11:47 pm

        Thank you! The name is actually from my T. At a point when I was feeling very down about myself, she took to telling me, “You are the cat’s meow.” So it is my way of reminding myself of the way that one person, whose judgement I trust, sees me.

        Thank you for your blog! I have read a lot here that I can really relate to, and I think that it had a positive effect on helping me to take some new risks in my last session that paid off.


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