“Where do you wear lipstick?” Our Gathering was meeting on a Sunday morning by the water. We began to dig deep- a state of vulnerability. We were discussing the area’s in life where we act, pretend, yet underneath know it’s all for show. Others in our homechurch share openly and I see that as an act of courage.
“Hann. What about you?” I stop and all of a sudden feel my eyes prick with tears. I can’t contain it, I begin to weep. I cover it up by making a joke yet the silence and the look in the eyes of those around me showed they took me seriously.
“I talk and write about authenticity” I begin to say, “Yet I feel like I have barriers up-I don’t practise what I preach. I’ve been hurt, wounded by some of those closest to me.” More tears flow down my cheek. “I’m scared that if you knew me, like others have in the past then you too would no longer want to be close to me.”
The words fell out of my mouth so easily, yet unintentionally, there they laid in a mess before the group to digest. The real me that had been hiding behind barriers had now been exposed. I feel myself tremble, vulnerability is scary.
It peels away the layers that we live behind so comfortably. It’s ok to be the spectator and hear others share openly, but when it comes to you, to me, well that is a different story.
Hurt did that, it placed a protective covering over a gaping wound which wept with intense sadness. So I went into self-protection mode not realising that I was actually isolating myself from others.
Others who see the good and bad yet still choose to love this Servant Girl. The people who fight for friendship when the going gets tough, the friends that will see us through storms and mountaintop experiences and remain rock solid, the friends that I want to grow old with.
Vulnerability is capable of hurting, wounding us in the deepest place that we often leave to fester in darkness- it can leave us locked up in shame and fear keeping us paralyzed from moving forward in our journey
It can be used as a weapon to destroy barricades, freeing us from chains which has held us captive. It demolishes lies and restores the truth teaching us, we are in fact worthy of love and authentic relationship regardless of past mistakes and character flaws.
Do you think that a lack of vulnerability is associated with shame?
If we revealed our ugliness, the bit that others would gasp at, would acceptance become absent within the relationship?
Would the connection become frayed and the very need for belonging, deep unconditional I love you, for you, type of acceptance cease?
If we choose unwisely with whom we share our authentic self, there is a risk of alienation or distancing. However, if our mate is safe and refrains from being judgemental then an opportunity opens up for us to bare the all-bare You.
A safe place will never bring you harm.
“Wholehearted living is about engaging in our lives from a place of worthiness. Love and belonging are irreducible needs of all women, men and children. We’re hard wired for connection-it’s what gives purpose and meaning to our lives. The absence of love, belonging and connection always leads to suffering” Brene Brown, Daring Greatly, page 10
Vulnerability is not for the faint hearted, but for the Servant Girl who doesn’t associate her wounds with her identity.
Her imperfections are not attached to shame as she understands her value in Christ alone.
She knows she is imperfect yet can still live with value.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.” Psalm 34:4-5
Extra Food For Thought with Andrew Bryant
Lipstick Wearing Bulldogs-Andrew Bryant.