After a few days of of much-needed catching up and multiple difficult conversations, I think tonight I’m thankful for vulnerability. I realize that’s rather vague and I don’t care to elaborate much as it is inching towards three a.m. and my eyes are telling me it’s too late to be staring at my computer screen, but I’m going to give it a shot. I imagine I’ll be embarrassed as I was the other night by my numerous typos that I’ll fix when I get up in the morning not remembering what I wrote.
I think most people look at vulnerability as something negative. If you look up definitions of vulnerability, aside from talking about it in terms of computer software (nerd alert), vulnerability usually suggests susceptibility to harm. Thus, we might consider it something to avoid, but I don’t. I think honesty requires vulnerability. And since I wrote about it the other night, risk taking often involves some vulnerability. Or at least you’re taking a risk when you allow yourself to be vulnerable. But more so than risking harm or pain or sadness or criticism, vulnerability risks growth and change. I know I’m afraid of both of those things just as much as I seek them. Contradiction and all. It’s like Scooby Doo. Yes, the cartoon. You know how it goes. They spend the entire episode searching for something, a monster, a ghost, whoever is causing problems so they can solve the mystery. And when they finally open the right door and stumble upon whoever it is, they run in the opposite direction. Even when I was a kid I thought Scooby Doo was dumb for this exact reason. I’m not making this up, the contradiction was just so pointless to me that I didn’t find it entertaining; rather, extremely frustrating. And I still do in terms of experiences other than fictional episodes of cartoons of course. I allow myself to be vulnerable hoping to be honest with myself with and the world around me to be confronted with this overwhelming desire to be safe, and I crawl back into comfort. I know I’ll spend the entire episode seeking and searching, to finally open the right door and be face to face with what or who I was looking for. I can run in the opposite direction or I can look my monster in the face and say “Come what may.” And we hope that when we unmask the monsters, we’ll realize they aren’t actually harmful at all and find answers.
I don’t know what this has to do with being thankful for vulnerability, but there you have it. Womp.