As we mature into adulthood, we gain not only physical and emotional strength, but power over our lives. This opens up new opportunities, and options never available to us before.
Distinguishing between the feeling of vulnerability and actual vulnerability becomes crucial.
“…Do I need to better protect myself from a danger in the environment? Or do I need to muster the courage to face something that isn’t going to kill me and that can help me grow stronger and more confident? Often we can conflate the two…Once we determine what our vulnerable feelings are about, we can thus make a decision to protect ourselves from real danger, or face an opportunity for personal growth by facing real feelings, emotions and needs…”
-“Stephen” of Therapy Glasgow, https://therapyglasgow.com/2020/04/26/the-vulnerable-self/
In an effort to protect ourselves, we may be tempted to erect emotional barriers, barricades against further abuse. This is only natural. To the extent that we re-establish safe boundaries, it is all to the good.
But we must remember that barricades can become traps for those inside. Inadvertently, we may cut ourselves off from the opportunities now accessible to us, and the very relationships which might help us to heal.
This is precisely what the Beast in the fairytale “Beauty and the Beast” does. He shuts himself off from the world. Ironically, it is only when the Beast allows himself to be vulnerable to Belle that he becomes fully human.
Make no mistake. We must expect a learning curve. There is every possibility we will share too much of ourselves, too soon, and with the wrong people.
Growth can be painful. But, in the long run, it is well worthwhile.
Jars of Clay
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2 Cor. 4: 7 NIV).
There is a passage in Scripture which compares us to “jars of clay”. Though they may appear durable, clay jars are surprisingly delicate. They can easily crack, chip, or break.
Human beings, too, can crack and break. Our bodies have limits. We are weakened by stress. We tire and age. If we rely on our own strength, we are bound to fail.
But if instead we embrace our vulnerability, and trust our lives to God, we can live fearlessly – confident in the knowledge that we are loved.
Part 1 in this series was posted 7/12/20.
FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com
14 responses to “Vulnerability, Part 2”
Really cool post, Anna. Beauty and the Beast is a great analogy. It’s very hard not to put up walls to protect ourselves, but too many of those walls for too long can become our prison. Jesus came to set the captives free, all the way free. To be willingly vulnerable takes a great deal of strength.
Glad you liked the post, Gabrielle. I believe many fairy tales have a deeper meaning. Plus, I appreciate animation. I could not agree w/ you more. Christ sets us free from the past, from the sins inflicted against us and our own.
Dear Anna and Gabrielle,
Yes, I concur that “Beauty and the Beast” is an apposite analogy.
Thank you, Anna, for your heuristic posts in two parts dealing with vulnerability.
From the animated movie “Beauty and the Beast”, the song “Tale As Old As Time” is sung by Angela Lansbury, whom my late mother used to watch in the TV series Murder, She Wrote. I had also played “Tale As Old As Time” many times for my mother on my electronic organ. It is indeed a heart-warming song.
I would like to inform you that I have replied to you with a very bespoke comment at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/soundeagle-exploring-classicism-transcendence-reminiscence-and-infinity-via-art-music-and-compositions/#comment-11419
Happy August to both of you!
You are so gracious, SoundEagle! How wonderful that you played that song for your mother. May August be a blessed month for you, as well.
I have taken more time to readjust my bespoke reply to you at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2013/07/19/soundeagle-exploring-classicism-transcendence-reminiscence-and-infinity-via-art-music-and-compositions/#comment-11419
It now looks even better in just the way that I intend it to be presented for you. ❤
And I thought it was perfect already. 🙂 I will be sure to check out the new version. Thank you for all your time and effort.
You are very welcome, Anna. Here is another special comment awaiting your perusal at https://soundeagle.wordpress.com/2012/09/05/soundeagle-in-art-and-poetry/#comment-11464
I am as astonished by the extent of your kindness as I am by your talent, SoundEagle. 🙂
I loved that separation between “the feeling of vulnerability and actual vulnerability”
Thank you, Moreblessing. The two can be difficult to tease apart. But we do ourselves a disservice if we allow fear to win.
Indeed! This is so empowering
My Dear Anna, was wondering what the beauty n the beast were doing in this article. But as I read ON, saw the point, and it is a good one. Good article too. Kudos and Love. Yesudas. 🙂
Thank you, Swami. It is always good to hear from you. Love, A. 🙂
Thank You, Anna.