Sometimes... I wish I could back up to a time in my life that in retrospect looks courageous, but was really naïveté, when I had no idea that loving and being loved (any kind of love other than divine unconditional love) is the ultimate form of being vulnerable, a.k.a. "open to attack, harm or damage".
I don't actually think that the love I experience as unconditional-divine and conditional-human are different, and yet I do experience them as coming through different channels (non-human and human) and that channel seems to make a world of difference.
I've often heard my own teacher, Douglas Brooks, say that intimacy is really an "invited violation". I'm sure that I would have argued with that statement 20 years ago. But now I know, intimacy (conditional human love) is scarier than any high-alpine peak I've ever climbed or any crazy adventure I've embarked on. I've been to the ends of the earth; Bolivian 18,000 foot ice routes, Antarctic polar deserts, South Indian Villages days away from comfort, Yosemite women's only accent of El Capitan, and 5.12 traditional rock routes. I've given natural child-birth after 6 weeks of labor and bed-rest. And yet NONE of these are as terrifying as being in love with a human. I could have died from any one of those adventures and than having to continue living with the feeling of a wounded heart.
Opening up to seeing and being seen with another messed up human like myself involves stepping in with the hope that trust can be cultivated, despite my past that shows that trust is usually pointless. I'm hoping that one day human love, conditional love, doesn't have to disappoint me all the way to the core. Divine love is, well, divine, and yet for me, it's not enough. It feels too easy. I want more, because why else would be we walking around in these aging and imperfect bodies?
But most of the time, I'm just pretty darn stoked that I wake up every day (ok, almost every day) knowing that every time I choose to love and be loved by humans, I'm risking damage. I'm stepping into the fire anyways.