One of the defining characteristics of being human is that we can be hurt.
Of course, we feel physical pain, but we can also be hurt emotionally.
It does not matter who we are, how strong we may be, or how confident we feel, we all have emotional weaknesses somewhere.
And, the more we open ourselves up to feel love, joy, and enthusiasm, the more we open ourselves up to being hurt.
The alternative is to shut down, to close off our hearts, and to avoid feelings altogether.
The problem with this approach, however, is that it does not really work.
All that happens when we end up only feeling the things we would rather not.
So instead of protecting ourselves from being hurt, we find ourselves in a constant state of emotional pain.
In this way, the perceived solution actually creates the problem we are trying to avoid.
It is not feelings we want to avoid after all.
It is hurt feelings.
A far better, albeit more frightening path, is to open ourselves up to the possibility of being hurt by being open to the possibility of love, joy, and enthusiasm.
At least by taking this path we give ourselves the opportunity to feel the best that life has to offer.
While this may feel like a gamble, at least there is a chance that we will be happy.
By choosing the path of a closed off heart, we guarantee that we will not be.