It was 113 degrees when I pulled up to the parking lot near Lake Mead, 30 miles outside of where I live in Las Vegas.
The heat wasn’t going to stop me. I was on a mission to get some exercise…after 2 months of no activity because of my sprained ankle, I was going stir crazy.
I delicately put on my sneakers, slathered on some sunscreen and grabbed my Starbuck’s iced coffee and bottle of water. Hey, you gotta stay hydrated in the heat 😉
As I arrived to the gated entrance for the walking path, I was greeted by a sign that read:
Do not hike Jun-Sept
There is was the blatant warning: DANGER. The very clear advice: STOP. The qualifier: June-September (it was the end of June). And even, the worst case scenario: HEAT KILLS.
I walked through the gate.
As I trekked on – sweat rolling down my face…I noticed how present I was to the risk. And how conscious I was that the benefit of my hike was greater than the very clear warning sign of risks.
I actually chose to walk through the gates of Heat Hell.
I couldn’t help but wonder:
Is this how we are with love?
When we choose to journey down the path towards love – whether it is opening our heart, dating, commitment and even marriage – are we consciously walking through the gates of Love Hell?
The warning is real: LOVE HURTS.
The advice is everywhere: TURN BACK. PROTECT YOUR HEART. DON’T GET MARRIED. RUN!
There is even a qualifier: Especially if you have standards, have needs, have feelings.
And a worst case scenario: HEARTBREAK. LONELINESS. DEPRESSION. DIVORCE. BITTERNESS.
And yet…we march on through the gates of love because the benefits are greater than the risk.
What led me through the gates that day was my deep desire to feel my body move and be connected to nature. To walk side by side the bright blue depths of Lake Mead, and feel those same depths within my soul. To remember how it feels to go deep within my own thoughts and reconnect with my desires…mostly my desire to love and be loved.
What are the desires that lead you through the gates of Love Hell?
What matters more than the risk of heartbreak?
Does the benefit of love outweigh the cost of depression, divorce and loneliness?
We need to ask ourselves these questions.
I’m not saying to just blaze through the gates of Love Hell without preparation.
Please, for the love of yourself, don’t do that!
Prepare yourself with the right gear – like supportive mentors, coaches or spiritual leaders – so that you can trek the long road with stability and care.
Layer on a protective ointment of self-care so that you are filled-up with self love and can recognize when you’re over-giving.
Stock up on nurturing love from friends to soothe your heart-ache when you aren’t loved the way you deserve.
And then, when you come face-to-face with that gate…take a look, acknowledge the risk, grab your liquid strength to hydrate possible love-exhaustion, and enter the gates of Love Hell.
Just on the other side could actually be a new reality: Love Heals.
To Your Radiance,
Now it’s your turn…
What makes love worth the risk for you? Why do you choose to go through the gates of Love Hell?
I would love to hear from you! Share in the comments below 🙂
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