Daniele Steele wrote, “The Bravest thing I’ve ever done was fall in love a second time.” Every time I have come across this phrase, I am reminded of a friend who said to me, “The problem with you Murriel is you aren’t vulnerable enough.”
This is our topic today. VULNERABILITY!
According to the Oxford Dictionary, Vulnerability is the state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed either physically or emotionally. Some texts refer to it as a weakness, which can be exploited.
It however begs the Question, “Am I actually Invulnerable?” and another, “Is it possible to love and yet be invulnerable.” In my last post https://murrielatai.wordpress.com/2021/11/05/i-do-not-regret-having-loved/ I spoke of a love of total abandonment, Is this possible without fully opening up your heart to the thorns and pricks, I think not.
In our everyday life, the notion of trust is inevitably latent. We believe that someone is good, reliable, honest etcetera and slowly warm up to the idea of wholly giving ourselves to them sharing the inner workings of our hearts, our deepest truths but also our even deeper fears and wrongs. Unfortunately, fairy tales are not always magical; the journeys into beautiful lands filled with possibilities that excite and expand our imaginations in reality are just imaginations. The Grinch can attest to this.
For any end of the wall that is torn down, we rebuild with even better materials in the hope that it will hold solid.
Therefore, what happens when this trust is broken over and over again, we build the wall of Jericho around us and strive at all times to keep this wall up. For any end of the wall that is torn down, we rebuild with even better materials in the hope that it will hold solid. Does building with better material mean that the tearing will stop? Not at all. They could be as patient as one peeling a boiled egg or sometimes we are met with Joshua’s who serve a mightier God and all they need is a shout and poof, the entire wall crumbles and we are left naked.
It is inevitable that the human heart will guard against this nakedness and that we shall strive to keep our clothing on. The more the merrier or so we think. I have constantly reminded myself that never again will I cry for a man or for that matter before him. ‘Nsula ku pillow Mbisi’ a popular Ugandan phrase literally meaning ‘I sleep on a wet pillow’ or more understandably ‘I’ve got tears on my pillow’ seems to be our happy place. In the face of the actual subject of attention, we are happy to act macho and yet privately we cry; Invulnerability.
Many times I fully expressed myself shouting or ranting at such a speed it was hard to keep out about the things that did not make me happy. Giving feedback and instead being victimized shocks you to the core. I chose therefore to keep quiet and withdraw. Now I realize that probably many relationships could have flourished but I did not give them the chance to because I changed course or shut the door. Invulnerability.
In whatever aspect it is that you understand vulnerability up to the extreme points of allowing yourself to feel pride or shame, is it necessary? Should we have breaks? Should we discontinue it all together?
My two cents, I know it was for survival why the walls came up, experience gave you a couple lessons but it is okay to open up. It is okay to be vulnerable especially if you want to build intimacy and connections that will last but also do not force it.
Start small with being honest and true to yourself and then to your relationship. If you are in doubt, ask yourself why. There usually is an underlying reason why you are hesitant and finally do not Wall yourself in. There is no better feeling than being totally loved and accepted by someone. Not everyone will but some do. If it gets really hard, Be reminded of 2 Corinthians 6 and 12.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.