Friday, August 1, 2014

The Terrifying Bliss of Being Vulnerable

We've all got things that make us ashamed; things that make us feel especially rotten compared to other people, and that isolate us.  There are things that make us think that our friends and families will treat us differently.  We're terrified of letting anyone find out, yet at the same time some part of us wants someone to know.  And why?  Because the only way to calm our fears that we would be abandoned or mistreated by anyone who knew our secrets is to prove our fears false by revealing those secrets and being treated just as well by our loved ones as we always were.

That's vulnerability.  It's one of the most terrifying things we'll ever do, yet it's the key to feeling fully loved.  After all, isn't God the ultimate model of love?  Who can imagine believing that God Himself only loved us because He "didn't know all our secrets?!"  That's a pretty depressing thought!  As if the Creator of all the universe was only one shocking revelation away from giving us the cosmic cold shoulder!

Whatever He found out about Antarctica must have been scandalous!

But if we know that Love Himself loves us even in the knowledge of all our faults, then the ultimate expression of human love is to have relationships where we can trust our loved ones to do the same.

I'm not gonna lie:  I am no good at this.  Oh, I've been blessed with a few incredible people who have never batted an eyelash at any secret regret or struggle I've shared with them.  But even with these people, I continue to find that whenever I open up a little bit more, I stress and obsess over what the response is going to be.  I end up in a sort of limbo, not knowing if I'll be rejected, or if this amazing person in my life will start treating me differently.  Maybe they won't reject me.  But maybe they'll pity me, start to act differently around me.  Let's say I had just opened up about my same sex attraction to a guy:  What if he starts pulling back from me, constantly afraid that every little thing he does will be a temptation to me?


But the rewards are amazing.  That moment when you realize that your being vulnerable has changed nothing, or has actually changed things for the better, is a bliss like few other things in the world.  To know that you can really be known, and still be loved.  It's beautiful.  I'm definitely not saying that you should rush out and publish all your deepest secrets to the world.  And I'm not saying you shouldn't use your own judgment when deciding who and how to tell about the things you hide the most.  I'm just saying that, although the risks are great, the rewards--when things go well--are much greater.

No comments:

Post a Comment