I consider myself to be a pretty open person. I don't really know how to hide anything. It's weird, because I don't think other people see me that way. Honesty isn't something people are accustomed to, so I figure people just assume everyone has stuff they're hiding. And there are some secrets I don't share, but for the most part, I really don't even know how NOT to volunteer information about myself. And the world doesn't know what to do with people who don't hide.
But I think I consider myself a vulnerable person.
I know my own weaknesses, and I have a lot of them. I am often a frightened little girl who needs a lot of grace. I am afraid of a lot of things. A lot of things make me sad. I don't mind being honest and open and talking about these things.
But the other day something happened that made me think.
I read a post on Facebook that looked really innocent, and it was, but to me, it reminded me of some past feelings of rejection. I got angry. I got upset. I posted comments. I got off Facebook and went to get some stuff done. But I couldn't shut my brain off.
And suddenly I was breaking down crying in the middle of folding my laundry.
I kept folding my laundry, because I had been putting it off for days, and it needed to be done. I guess that helped calm me down. I reminded myself that God knew what He was doing with me, that my life is really good. And I kept thinking. I started thinking about vulnerability.
I don't mind being vulnerable. But when that moment of pain and anger hit me, I didn't like it; I didn't want it. And if I had a choice in the matter, I wouldn't have shown weakness then. I wouldn't have gotten angry and posted some Facebook comments that I had to apologize for later. I would have been strong.
Because I realized this about myself: I only want to be vulnerable when it's in my own terms. I only want to be vulnerable when I'm in control.
And I have to wonder, if I'm only being vulnerable on my own terms, am I really being vulnerable?
I don't think there's a clear-cut answer to that question. For some people, vulnerability is HARD. They've had their trust broken, they've been hurt, they've been abused or rejected. Or...its just not naturally easy for them to be open.
For me, I really don't know how to keep much to myself. It might be the writer in me, but I need to express myself or I go a little bonkers. So I can't say its hard for me to be open with people.
And I do think there is merit to being vulnerable, even if it's on my own terms. But when I really look at my actions and reactions, I have to say that there are times when I'd rather just go hide.
Like when a coworker suggests I'm getting too frustrated with the kids and might need a break. I don't like admitting that kind of weakness. I tend to get angry instead of grateful for their concern, because I don't want to be weak.
Or when I'm reminded of things that others have said and done that have hurt me. I don't like having to deal with the pain and anger all over again. I don't like having to admit to God that I'm still having trouble forgiving something that happened years ago. And I don't really want to admit that to anyone else either. It's easier to look like a saint than a dirty beggar wallowing, yet again, before the throne of God.
God is very gracious. The very fact that He convicted me of this is proof of His grace towards me. So I'm going to keep struggling. I want to be transparent. I want others to see that I'm just an imperfect, weak, human whom God has chosen because of His worth, not mine.
I want to boast in my weaknesses and boast in His strength. I can't do that unless I'm honest.
Especially with myself.
1 Corinthians 1:27 NASB
...But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong...