Last night I had the privilege of dining with a group of amazing ladies. The main topic of discussion was vulnerability.
VUL ner A Ble.
Let that word roll off your tongue.
For some, it’s a word that may bring up a negative connotation. At my first thought of the word, it makes me feel a tiny bit uncomfortable, but at the same time I wish it could be a word that people could describe me by.
I absolutely love when people can let their walls down and be vulnerable with me. It shows me that I am a safe place for them to let go and I want them to feel that way with me. There is something so beautifully humanizing and gracious about people who can be so raw and honest. Its comforting to know when others don’t have their shiz niz together. And that it is OK. There is true beauty in that mess….And the sun will still come up tomorrow morning.
I only realized last night, after stewing on our dinner conversation in bed, that I did not grow up in a very vulnerable family. I love my parents to death. We had an amazing home life and upbringing. They are stellar examples to many, but they never really talked about the real hard stuff in their own lives. Maybe they were protecting us. Maybe they thought they only wanted to to fill us with good positive things. I don’t know, but I think somehow it’s kept me from being super raw with people until I have spent a good amount of time with them. (Mom, don’t be offended, if you read this)
It makes me think of how clean and organized and put together I was when it was just me and the hubs, no kiddos. At any given moment, someone could stop by, and my house would be sparkling. Once I had my first child, many things changed…like my priorities. I no longer had as much time or strength to keep a sparkling house. I didn’t feel comfortable having people show up unannounced anymore. I had to make sure the house was in ship shape before anyone could enter.
A couple years ago, we stayed at a hotel on a mini staycation for my birthday. Our friends who lived on the other side of the island, stayed late at the hotel with us for dinner. There was no room left in our room, so instead of having to drive back to their homes, my husband offered them to stay at our house which was only about 40 minutes away. What the?!?! Didn’t he know that the house was a total disaster?! Did he magically forget how busy the week before had been and that we had hardly had time to wash the dishes and do the piling laundry? He must have forgot about the fact that my son had wet the bed the night before rushing off to the hotel. I was livid because he knows how I like things when people come over. He kept reminding me that they were my closest friends and they really didn’t care if I had a messy house. OF course, he was right. They didn’t care. They just wanted somewhere to lay their sleepy heads and brew a strong cup of coffee in the morning. It was a lesson that I had to learn the hard way. Even though, crazy as it seemed, it hurt so bad to let them see a real life exposure of how things could get. M-E-S-S-Y. I wasn’t being real. I wasn’t letting my walls down.
Ever since then, I have let my guard down in the “sparkling clean house department.” I would rather have people see the mess and feel like they are still welcome in my home, no matter what condition it is in. I want that more in other areas of my life.
So, in closing, let’s keep it real. Accessible. Go out on a limb. Expose the mess. Be vulnerable… and reap the rewards of more meaningful relationships.