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I don’t care much for vulnerability. It consists of a duality I cannot comprehend. I cannot understand how this horrible place of being acutely aware of one’s weakness is described as a strength. I just can’t help but feel like it is often something unsuspecting people get thrust into unwillingly. I cannot equate it to beauty. I cannot equate it to courage.

I spent a few hours listening to a story of a woman who had left a life of prostitution behind and I went home feeling like I swallowed half of her emotions – (I cannot imagine how all of it must feel) and had been pumped full of soda gas and been shaken…and I felt left with all her vulnerability inside me feeling both naked and full. I didn’t know how to get rid of it.

Even as I spent time pondering this topic today, I searched for illustrations of “vulnerability” on pinterest and found all sorts of beautiful quotes concerning the merits of being vulnerable and I think the art actually made me dislike it even more. Scrolls-full of naked and exposed women who made me feel more like an exposed object than anything else. What am I missing here? Are we not inevitably likely to wonder, “Is my vulnerability good enough?”

The worst part is that vulnerability seems to be expected! If you don’t produce enough of it in your relationships then you are not giving enough of yourself. I hope that I give of myself in other less filling myself up ways. The idea of exposing yourself in the hopes that some other person is going to cover it up again seems like a pointless and idiotic exercise. Not to mention dangerous. It’s like saying that getting in front of an oncoming bus is brave.

Being vulnerable in front of God, I get. It makes sense that He is allowed in that space where He works most to heal and perfect us. It doesn’t make it easy…but I can at least understand that. Perhaps I have just seen too much of what people do with other people’s weaknesses to know that it is rarely “covered” or “protected”. In many cases this cruelty is not even intended and then we are either left with the guilt of not reaching the unattainable expectation or scarred with the horror and panic of having been exposed. On the other hand we have a fair selection of people in our society that abuse their vulnerability to extort others. Best we all just wear our suntan lotion or stay out of the sun.

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