I have known them for varying lengths of time, and they each bring such depth and treasure to my life that I cannot go a day without talking to them. They are my girls. Sometimes their influence in my life overlaps; their circles intertwine and they bless me in ways that complement each other. And other times, their friendships with me stand alone, as a gift that is only mine.
But right now, they rest in my heart in a way that is important, unique, and common among each other. They are all grieving. They are each in a crisis of their own. Each girl of my heart is
facing deep loss of some kind: loss of security, trust, value, direction, relationship, love. Each one is on her own journey of hurt and pain, and for each one, I want to scoop her up and deposit her in a better, safer place. I want to pick up the remote control and fastforward to the next scene. I want peace for her. I want answers. I want it to stop hurting.
It hurts to love this much. It hurts to love another person so very, very deeply that her pain penetrates my heart and brings my tears to the surface.
The Velveteen Rabbit had something to say about loving so much it hurts; I think it means I am becoming real.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to
you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."
It's a beautiful journey to love so deeply. But my goodness, it hurts to love this much.