Sunday, 1 May 2016

Vulnerability





This past week, I took a trip to Keukenhof Holland to see the Tulip festival. Tulips are my absolute favorite flower in the entire world, so being able to be at the Tulip fesitival with the man of my dreams, was an absolute dream come true. Upon being there and visiting the amazing display of tulips, I learned something. The tulips that you see above, the ones with the feathery/frayed flowers, those tulips are actually diseased. I can't remember the name of the disease, but I do remember thinking when I read about it, how beautiful are these tulips. They were vulnerable, caught a disease, and came out on top, becoming my second favorite type of tulip. A very rare, sick, but beautiful tulip indeed. Which got me thinking about the word vulnerable..........



Being vulnerable. What does that mean to you? Well, I suppose it might depend on your current situation, your past upbringing, or who you are currently working on becoming. To me, it means everything. It used to be a word that struck fear into my core. I hated it. I was brought up to be tough and independent. I wasn't allowed to cry, I wasn't allowed to ask for help. So I grew up alone. I learned ALL of my lessons the hard way, I have cried more tears from heart break and disappointment than I could count, I have shoved people out of my life because I knew they would never live up to my expectations and eventually would hurt me. I have lied to everyone that asked me how I was doing because I knew they didn't really care. I've slammed the door (metaphorically) on so many valuable people in my life because they simply let me down.

However, I am nearly 30 and life isn't so hard. I've contemplated why in the world have I had such a good stream of luck in the past few years...surely happiness isn't in God's plan for me. And I have learned one thing. It's because I have chosen to be vulnerable. I have opened up myself to mostly every one I have come across. Nine times out of ten, it backfires on me and I end up the one being hurt. But in my pain, I have come to the conclusion that the people that use my vulnerability against me are hurting far worse than I am. And in turn, when they are ready (if and when) to come back and be my friend again, I will be there for them. Why?, you ask. They hurt you, they took advantage of you, they talk so badly about you! Because they need the love that I have to offer them. They need the love that Jesus has put into my heart to give to them more than I need it. God gave me my husband as my best friend to be there for me on this earth when I really need to refuel, when I really need to be reminded that I am a good person, and I am unconditionally loved. The people that betray me? They don't have that.

They are who I used to be. Hurt, confused, full of fear, needing approval, wanting love. And they show it by hurting others. It's sad, it's unfortunate, it's humanity without God. Do you want to know how I learned all of this? Yes, my amazing husband. We have a mutual friend, one he has known for 11 years, and one I have known for 6 years. I have had the hardest time with them accepting me for me and just being my friend. I had opened up to them (of course when Jose was there) and we bonded, we really bonded. It was great, until it wasn't. They shoved me away, picked fights with me on purpose, and generally tried to shove me out of their life. I was infuriated to the point of tears and I asked Jose why? Why were they punishing me when I didn't do anything to them? I'm never going to open up to them again, that's it, I'm done trying! Being my amazing truthful non biased husband he is, he in turn gave me this gut wrenching advice.

"Mamacita, if you want to make a difference in this person's life, then you have to be vulnerable with them." "You must show them unconditional love, no matter what." Ugh, but I don't want to! They hurt me, bla bla bla. But then I realized he was right. And be vulnerable I did. It actually hasn't made a bit of a difference in our friendship, but in being vulnerable, I learned what Jose was really trying to teach me. Being vulnerable isn't about the results you get with other people, whether it be good or bad. It's about YOU growing as a person and just accepting who you are, character builders (flaws) and all. Once you accept who you are, then the people that reject you for being who you are, really won't phase you. Because you know the harm they cause you is actually a cry for help. What they are really asking is this. "Please don't prove me right." "Please give me one more chance." " I didn't mean it, I just don't know how to accept love, goodness, and kindness."

What they are really saying to me? PROVE ME WRONG! Prove to me that not everyone is the same. Prove to me what unconditional love looks like, feels like, is. So from January 2016 onward I have been nothing but vulnerable, honest, me. And so far, it hasn't really paid off. I've only had disappointments, but many lessons have been learned. So many people need love. So many people need Jesus! If you love someone and you open yourself up to them and you give them your all, and they reject it and it makes you angry, then you have not really loved them have you? Love is not selfish. So the next time you meet someone new, or you give someone in your life another chance, love them. I mean REALLY love them unconditionally for who they are, who they have been, and who you know they can be. Love them like Jesus would. Unconditionally, with no expectations. I promise, it's a win win situation. The Beatles had it right when they said, "All you need is love, love is all you need." And more importantly, the Bible had it right when it said,

 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned,[a]but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.
13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13

P.s. I actually had to memorize this entire verse when I was in the 1st grade at the Lighthouse Christian school with Mrs. Tallman as my teacher. So it has stuck with me my entire life. (christian school was the best half year of my life, I remember almost everything about it and I loved it).
P.s.s. Never forget where God has brought you from into where you are now. The pain that people cause you, is the very same pain that you have caused someone in your life when you were none the wiser. We are all humans searching for love and acceptance. And Jesus is the ONLY way to show true love and acceptance. More Jesus, less YOU.