vulnerability

Our life is a dance of alternating vulnerabilities, the delicate art of tenderly managing our fragility in the midst of a dog-eat-dog world. To be vulnerable can often be seen as a sign of weakness, a letting down of your guard so to speak, inevitably resulting in the possibility of abuse or maltreatment. While we wish that no one suffer the indignity of ill-treament at the hands of others, the way of suffering is common to all, and crucial to an understanding of healthy human maturation.

The religious world has sometimes fallen prey to a vulnerable nervousness, with a theologically competitive god-eat-god one up-man-ship that has attempted to create a triumphalistic hermeneutic in order to provide certainty and clarity to life's conundrums. The certitude of this world view has created a not so subtle denial of reality along with a little hyper-faith thrown in for good measure. To top it off we are warned to maintain our good confession lest we give our negative words power and somehow negate divine intervention. At this point I would add that I am not advocating a licence to wallow in a permanent pessimism or a cycle of cynical deconstruction, but to acknowledge the real emotion of our souls complaint and own that vulnerability.

My soft underbelly is a reflection of my need for help on every front, a willingness to lower my pride, to acknowledge and accept assistance regardless of what people may think. Vulnerability is our deepest insecurity exposed to public critique and opinion, the possibly of a scrutiny that can be very humbling indeed. Conversely it can open the way for empathy to comfort us. When vulnerability decides to ‘come out’ she has decided to no longer live in fear and hide behind the closed doors of denial, concluding that  the way of honesty is the path of least resistance and true enlightenment. 

To trust the pathos of the universe as our guide will lead us into a new understanding of how God’s power is made perfect in our weakness, divine providence nurturing our becoming and well-being.

Vulnerability is about showing up and being seen. It's tough to do that when we're terrified about what people might see or think.          - Brene Brown