Sometimes there is no story to begin our day. There is a blank empty space where words and wisdom should be.
— Kandace Chadwell (@KandaceChadwell) January 27, 2016
Where does the light meet the darkness? As I look out my window I see the rainbow of colors that meet the darkness. It is not one straight line in the sand. It does not appear to stop abruptly, it melds one into the other. The hazy clouds of darkness blend into the blue and orange hues below.
This is often how loss and love meet. This is often how pain and pleasure meet. This is often how sadness and joy meet. This is often how doubt and faith meet.
The blinking line on my computer is taunting me. I know I want to write about the hard truth but struggle with the words. If you focus long enough, you can hear every ticking clock and sound surrounding you.
Why do I shy away from writing about the truth of my own faults? Maybe it is because people tend to not want others to know and we don’t want to be judged. Guilty as charged.
The other day I spent an hour long car ride talking out loud about my frustrations the things I feel guilty for. Yes I am admitting talking to myself don’t judge me. I know you were not but my inner voice says you might be just a little bit.
So the words of guilt just kept pouring out. Guilty that I don’t spend enough time with my kids, guilty for not seeing my grandparents enough, guilty for not cleaning the house enough, for not cooking enough, for not seeing my friends enough, for not exercising, for not doing more in the community, for not reading the bible more, for not….guilty for being guilty so much.
You see the box sitting there in front of your door and are thankful it didn’t rain. Remember the good ole days when you signed for every piece of mail larger than your mailbox or the nice little note that told you to come pick it up? I digress. Yes I know I could just check the little box that says I have to sign for my package but knowing me I wouldn’t be there to actually get it.
When you see this box with excitement what is in your package? What gets your blood pumping and your heart pounding? This week in my small group we were listing to the Happy Series by Andy Stanley and one of the first questions was “What makes you happy?” and the answer “no thing”. This is true but it sure does make you happy for a moment.
Recently I sat in my room thinking about the purpose and style of my blog. Turning to my husband I asked what I should focus on when I have so many different ideas. He said my mind can have many thoughts and many ideas but often they are random in nature. All I heard when he said “random” was not clearly thought out and not organized. He of course didn’t mean anything other than I have lots of good ideas to write about so why only try and pick one. Then I went back to my notebook and looked at one thing I had written on what to focus my blog on. The very first sentence I wrote was “To show my vulnerability”.
Then many pages later and a great video by Brené Brown The Power of Vulnerability this post all came together. Admitting I had no clue where to go would mean I would have to be vulnerable to others. Not having a planned out purpose or even solid name for my blog was because I tend to be a random thinker these days. Ideas just come and go but they don’t seem to stick together.
In the video Brené talks about being vulnerable often means expressing empathy. We cannot truly express empathy if we are not vulnerable to others and admit our own faults. Then she talks about blame. We often blame others or even ourselves rather than being vulnerable and just human. She notes blaming is just a discharge of anger. Which if you ask me sometimes does help us feel better but if we don’t address the real issue it will just come up again and again. Blaming others and not being empathetic is much easier than allowing people to see us for who we are or what we have been through.
So a few thoughts I revisited in my original chicken scratch notes:
To know that you don’t know
To let someone else know you
To give the keys away
To admit you don’t know what you are doing
Well here I am admitting. Exposed to the entire world. But it is alright and I am sure there are many others who feel the same.
If I had not been reminded enough then while working the very next day I was reminded again. Let me take you on a journey:
Computer not working, shut it down, turn back on, forget password over and over and over. The memory was just gone like when you suddenly forget how to spell the word the. I blame myself for not writing it down. I blame my computer for not working. I felt stupid and lost. Then came panic of what others will think. I would have to admit I could not get on my computer because I never thought to write the password down somewhere other than on a document within my computer. I would be missing emails and projects and to do items.
Then reminder number two. I finally remembered the password, got on and then no internet connection. In comes blame, stupid storm causing me issues with internet. Stupid cable company that provides internet service. A brick wall went up. You would have thought I was the only in the world this has ever happened to and admitting it would mean admitting defeat or fault or failure. Although in this situation there were no other parties involved in my debacle, I could not be vulnerable to the fact that these things happen, it will pass and maybe there was reason I was supposed to take a time out.
So why do I say just be vulnerable? Brené says being vulnerable means we are wholehearted. If we are wholehearted then we can connect with people. We live in a world of fear of judgement. Fear of being as she says, “Never ____ enough”, you fill in the word. If we are vulnerable we will stop worrying so much about what others think because we will know they too have areas of vulnerability. People will trust us because they have seen a glimpse of our wholeheartedness.
How often are you vulnerable with others?