Updated: Sep 24, 2021
I realized after church today that I don’t know my place anymore. It’s not that I don’t know what to do. I can serve, I can visit, I can listen. But I walk tentatively. Afraid that at any time someone might say something that will hurt, or worse, not say anything at all.
After losing our daughter, I desire to have deep conversations with people, for me, this brings life! But I also cringe at the thought of having these convos. Never sure where it will go. Not that I want to avoid talking about my loss, but I feel raw. And feeling raw doesn’t feel good.
I just want to make it all go away.
But on the other hand, I love my little girl, and I want to remember what stage she would be at now, what I would be doing with her, my older daughter's relationship with her...but then the dilemma, do I want to feel all those things again? Feeling the hurts.
But I know getting to the root of the pain is key for healing. Opening myself to these conversations gives me an intense sense of vulnerability. But as author Brene Brown would say, vulnerability is “having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome.” I cannot control every conversation I will have. But I can take courage and be seen. To show up when we don't feel like it.
This is dangerous, but enlightening.
In relationships, we all want others to be vulnerable with us, this is the glue that brings us together. But for ourselves, we want to share what’s safe, what feels comfortable. But we all know those safe people. And we all just want them to cut the BS and talk real! But, oh my lanta, I am that person! I just want to talk cute, sweet, nice sentiments...and not get down to the nitty-gritty, in the brilliant words of Nacho Libre.
Opening myself to be vulnerable is not weakness, but as Brown would say, “it’s our greatest measure of courage.” One of my favorite quotes, one that came to me during my pregnancy, before our loss, is from author C.S. Lewis who says in a story format, “Take courage, dear heart.” In the face of difficulty, when it appears impossible to be present, we can be encouraged to take heart. To literally grab our emotions by the horns, look them in the eye, and say TAKE COURAGE!
And who knows, maybe my healing will come by being vulnerable (in the context of trusted relationships) and simply taking courage. Perhaps it's in the simple everyday occurrences that we will begin to experience a taste of healing. Maybe it's not as difficult as we make it out to be.
Be encouraged and take courage today–healing is happening when you simply look someone in the eye and say "good morning."
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
A Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis