It’s almost impossible to deal with relationships between people without dealing with our own shame and insecurities.
I myself have had issues with maintaining close friendships my entire life that have led me to struggle greatly with vulnerability in friendships. But God in his mercy last year, in one of my greatest gifts of 2019, sent me a new friend that has helped me heal so many of those old wounds. We all need healing, because, like the song about the Bear Hunt that my kids sing ad nauseum, you can’t go over it, you can’t go under it, you have to go through it.
We have to face our shame and insecurities in order to move through them. Despite the fact that sharing those things with other people is the absolute last thing I want to do most of the time, that’s the way through.
Shame can’t survive speaking.
When we share the parts of ourselves that are most imperfect it frequently has the opposite impact than the one we all fear so much – it draws people to us instead of pushing them away. Connection grows where we have the courage to be vulnerable. Our own vulnerability creates a safe environment for others to be vulnerable as well, and connection grows.
I like to think of vulnerability as the mud of connection – there’s the lovely light and the freshwater of camaraderie and shared experiences that it’s fun to embrace and talk about, but if you don’t have the dirt of vulnerability a relationship is not going to grow.
It’s not a glamorous part, but it’s a necessary part.
Do you struggle to be vulnerable? Is that something you’re comfortable with?
That’s probably not quite the right question – no one is super comfortable with vulnerability I don’t think. But I think people do get comfortable with the fact that they need to do it, and perhaps that’s the kind of growth we should be seeking – acceptance that vulnerability is necessary to healthy connection, and in turn, connection is necessary for us to love in the way to Christ loves.
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