"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even 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. To love is to be vulnerable." C. S. Lewis, The Four Loves.
Being vulnerable is one the toughest aspects of becoming more perfect in love. At its core the reluctance to be vulnerable is the fear of rejection. We all have a basic need to feel needed. When you love someone or something, we run the risk of them not loving us back. And, I speak from experience, the rejection of a spouse who is supposed to love you, " 'till death do you part."
Yet, what famous poet said, "Tis better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all."? If we refuse to be vulnerable, refuse to love, it is a slow death. Eventually, there will be no joy, no emotion, and our hearts will be like rocks. Yes, incapable of being hurt, but also impossible to experience love, joy, and any real fulfillment.
Love is a risky business. Being vulnerable is hard. Yet, the alternative is much, much worse. And, in the end, no matter what happens, love never fails.