Within a week I've discussed my summative evaluation with my boss, said goodbye to someone I may never see again, responded to the poor discipline I was shelling out to my toddler, and started working out enough to be horrified at the current shape of my physique.
Here, right behind me, is a week's worth of close contact with vulnerability.
I have a pep team in my life, and the two people on that pep team work in tandem. I gather some really great, swallow your pride, buck up, and move pep talks from my mom who isn't about wasting time in self-pity and my husband steps in when I'm needing a think big and go chase after your dreams pep talk. I need this team.
When I've found I'm not the award winning educator or structured parent or unconditionally loving spouse I previously perceived, well I go and have myself a little episode of feeling stuck and thinking life just stinks.
And then I draw on all the great examples of love around me. It takes great love to take big risks in our jobs to be better than just really good. It takes great love to provide enough discipline for our child that it makes us initially or sometimes or even perpetually uncomfortable. It takes great love to be so intimate with our spouse or in such close connection with our friends that undoubtedly, absolutely our imperfections will rise to the surface. With great passion comes great vulnerability.
To take that critical advice, that realization we missed seizing action, that humility in knowing we're wrong and turn it into something worthy is to mean we are a person of strength. We must welcome harsh words, seasoned suggestions, difficult decisions, and that three way department store mirror shot that brings about a whole new view on your need to "move it or lose it, sister".
As a wise woman once told me, "Life is a lot about getting up and kicking butt." [She may or may not have used, for necessary emphasis, an alternate word for "butt".] There's got to be enough fight in us to protect the values and desires which are at our core: integrity, traveling around the globe, mutual respect, fitting in that black bikini [I'll claim that one], achieving that lifelong goal of opening a bakery downtown, unfailing following of Christ, true friendship, and a joyful marriage.
Sometimes, that fight in us takes on its peak performance when vulnerability is coaching on the sidelines. Grief. Heartache. Job loss. Identity crisis. Mother-in-law's surprise visit when your house appears it's being managed by a barn animal. Whatever it may be for you, I urge you to take it, accept it, feel it deeply, and of course shortly afterward move it or lose it!