To be vulnerable is to be “susceptible to physical or emotional attack or harm”. If you suffer from health problems or are disabled in any way you’re especially vulnerable for a variety of reasons.
Since I can’t walk well I’m literally vulnerable as my personal safety is at risk. Because I’ve been trying and failing to deconstruct a disease that the greatest neurological minds on the planet can’t figure out I’ve become physiologically vulnerable. My inability to make future plans with my family out of fear that I wont be able to participate is making me emotionally vulnerable. And as my failures grow my psychological vulnerability is increasing.
And yet until I’m comfortable being vulnerable, I pretty much have no shot at living a wholehearted life.
At least that’s what Brené Brown says in her latest book, Rising Strong. Brown feels that its the “hiding out, pretending, and armoring up against vulnerability that is killing us”. She claims that it is killing our spirits, out hopes, our potential, our creativity, our ability to lead, our love, our faith, and our joy.
I have to agree with her. At this point, I don’t even recognize myself. So I started this blog as a way to be seen.
I’m not posting my name or tons of personal photos but if you know me you can probably piece together who I am. It’s also been a long time since I’ve written on a regular basis and I wouldn’t mind some more time to create for myself before having to deal with the opinions of others.
Also, in Rising Strong Brown makes it clear that grace will take you places that hustling can’t. She claims that when we are ready, willing and able to publicly face plant, wrestle with the emotions that come up and forgive yourself for failing in the first place, when you finally rise, you’ll be able to rise strong.
I’ve been shucking and jiving my disease for a while now. My plan was to covertly cure what’s incurable (because people way cooler than me with MS on the Internet do it all the time) and get on with my life. But here I almost eight years in and there’s nothing clandestine about my health. You can now glance at me from 2 miles away and know that I suffer from something serious. (Sorta like during my first pregnancy, when I was so bloated even my ears looked pregnant. Long lost friends would pass me on the Interstate going 75 miles per hour then call me at home later to congratulate me on the bun in my oven!)
So I’m going to follow Brown’s advice and come out from the shadows. It’s time to let my feebleness flag fly! Who knows? Maybe some grace will show up after all.