“The flourishing of the vulnerable depends on the vulnerability of the flourishing.”
— Andy Crouch, quoted in Shrink by Tim Suttle
These words have me thinking. At one stage of my life – a very long stage – I was the vulnerable one. And there were people who were kind, brave and obedient enough to be vulnerable. Little by little, as they shared their own stories and heartache, they showed me how to begin to flourish.
In some areas of my life I’m still the vulnerable one. In other areas, I’m flourishing.
And honestly, the vulnerability of the www – blogging, social media, all of it – is so intimidating for me. What if such-and-such reads my blog? What will they say / think / do? Photos. Personal stories. Comments. I struggle with it all.
But when life deals you some tough stuff – as it does to us all – and when we somehow come through flourishing, isn’t this our golden chance to be the flourish-er for the now-vulnerable? If I was once the vulnerable one, isn’t it a priveledge, an honour and so very exciting that I can be the flourish-er for others? These thoughts I’m pondering as I begin this new year.
Vulnerability is such a darn hard place to be. Brene Brown talks about ‘vulnerability hangovers’; that feeling of panic after a moment of honesty and vulnerability where we start wanting to backtrack. We start criticising and judging ourselves and wish we’d never said or written with such honesty. We worry about what others will say or think about us. This is a vulnerability hangover, and we all get them.
The She Is Project has an interesting take on all this. An online platform where women share their stories and read about the experiences of others, it is built around the thought that “There is incredible power and honour in being told ‘your story matters, your life is important’. The She Is Project unwraps the wisdom, joy and strength found in stories just like yours and makes them accessible to women all over the world. We hope that The She Is Project will remind each woman who connects with us that they are unique, extraordinary, and significant and that God is authoring a beautiful and compelling story in their life.”
Those “me too” moments are very powerful. And when others read our story and have “me too” moments around our own, personal experiences, there’s healing and power and amazingness to be found here too. Albeit scary.
So here’s to this journey. These open-ended, unsure, doing our best days which will one day culminate in a beautiful story, with unimagined and unplanned power.
Here’s to walking the journey. Blind though we may seem.