What about being vulnerable?
By Stephanie Gretchen Burgevin. Stephanie is a writer and retreat leader. She is an associate faculty member of Shalem and a graduate of their Leading Contemplative Prayer Groups and Retreats Program and leads spiritual and secular programs. Stephanie manages Shalem’s blog. You can see more of her writing at blessedjourneyblog.com.
She said, “Are you really being vulnerable?”
Have you ever had one of those moments in a conversation, an argument, or while reading a book when you have the wind knocked out of you? That’s how that question hit me. It struck me to the marrow and vibrated my being in that moment and sat on my heart for weeks.
We’ve talked before in an earlier blog about the word “Surrender.” People often have a strong reaction to the word and the concept. Somehow this question about whether or not I was truly being vulnerable hit me even deeper. I could see how it related to a whole domino line of behaviors in my life. Those structures I had erected suddenly didn’t have such a strong foundation.
Vulnerability, like surrender, requires a great level of trust. Am I willing to risk it all?
Vulnerability can be scary in our dealings with other humans, but we can often feel tentative about it even in our spiritual lives. I thought I was being really open, that I was comfortable with surrender, but being vulnerable was different. It felt more proactive, like I was choosing to put my naked self way out there. Even being vulnerable in my relationship with the Holy felt a little scary.
But then came the freedom. When I didn’t have to stay tucked in and protective, I could be free. I didn’t have to hold it all together, thinking I was in control.
Perhaps, if I can be more vulnerable in my spiritual life, I can be more vulnerable in my other close relationships. This growth is hard, but at least I’m not alone.
What is your experience?