How do I feel right now? I feel content. I feel relaxed. I feel fairly blessed right now. I also felt, not too long ago this morning, compelled to share my emotions and appreciation with a dear friend of mine. It was not the first time I had done this, nor will it probably be the last. I opened up about how he has showed me nothing but compassion and a brotherly love. I reassured him that he has been rather constant and consistent amidst all else going on. He has been a great friend. Of course, immediately after sending those words of affirmation and the euphoric emotions had worn off from wanting to share with him, I almost had regret sharing with him how I felt. Why? Because it means I was vulnerable…a word many of us do not like or care to use or even hear.
I can speak for myself when I say my vulnerability and openness in the past has left me feeling empty, alone, afraid, broken, and feelings I fail to describe here.
The word “vulnerable” originates from the Latin word vulnerabilis or vulnerare, which means “wounding” or “to wound.”
This one word holds so much meaning. Being said, it is no wonder my default (and possibly I am describing you as you read this) is to immediately apologize or perhaps begin to “shell up” or “run away” from someone I am being vulnerable to.
It is a beautiful quality, to be open and vulnerable. But it is also prudent to do so while entrusting your heart to Our Lady. After all, her own heart was pierced when she witnessed her own Son laying His life down for us.
Why Our Lady? Great question. (:
Because she is our mother, too! Yes, she is your mother. Maybe you are reading this and do not quite understand or believe in praying or looking up to Mary. Or maybe it is difficult to comprehend and accept. I am still learning, myself! Maybe you do not know what it is like to have a mother. I lost my own mother when I was seven years old. It is okay to have these doubts and thoughts. Just know you do have a mother who loves you and desires to protect you from the evil one. She can protect our heart with a mother’s love not even our own earthly mother can do (don’t get me wrong – I respect our mothers on earth, for they bore us in their wombs…Psalm 139:13-16). She crushed the serpent’s head! But most importantly, if you do not get anything from this post, please get this:
Mary can bring our wounded and broken hearts to her Son, to be healed and loved.
One of my favorite images is from The Passion where Mary runs, she literally drops everything, to go pick up Jesus when he fell.
And she will do that for you, too! It also reminds us to be child-like in trusting our Lord. Hence, the picture I chose of the child hiding behind a tree, above. (; Think of a child and how vulnerable they must be to trust in those who care for him. And think about how much more vulnerable one can get than being mocked and nailed to a cross??? Jesus knows. He understands. He wants us to run to Him as His child.
Be vulnerable. It’s okay. It may involve and will involve getting hurt at times. “Then why be vulnerable?” Because it allows us to be real, genuine, and to feel alive. You can do it. I am not saying you should go share anything and everything with the next stranger you pass on the street…but I am saying, it is okay to be real and raw, especially with someone you can open up to. Remember, it does take time, but it is worth it. I will leave you to read and soak in these few quotes about vulnerability, below:
“I understand now that the vulnerability I’ve always felt is the greatest strength a person can have. You can’t experience life without feeling life. What I’ve learned is that being vulnerable to somebody you love is not a weakness, it’s a strength” Elizabeth Shue.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable” C.S. Lewis.
To feel or not to feel…that is the question…