Holding Both in Such Weak Hands

flare
verb
to suddenly burn or shine brightly

flare
noun
an exacerbation of a chronic disease

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Can’t write much today because my wrists have been in pain for almost 24 hours now. Just trying to rest: pared down my to-do list to just three things, this blog post being one of them. Earlier today, I would not have been able to type it out. This evening, I am a little better.

I want to shine bright, make a difference, be a leader in thought and action. Sometimes it can feel so impossible with a body that feels like a leaky bucket: hard to store up energy when the most mundane things seem to leech power. Some days I feel like a rag that has been wrung out.

I know I am blessed with resources, privileged: I can afford pain meds and peppermint oil, my employer works with me and not against me, I have a support system that could make a king envious.

So, somehow, I get to do both. I get to flare up in multiple ways. Perhaps not at the same time.

But then again, with all I’ve learned of vulnerability: maybe so.

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Photo by Blake Cheek on Unsplash

Vulnerability

Broken light bulb on shiny surfaceI have a friend right now who is– after many years of avoiding– finally getting help for her OCD. It’s been a journey even to summon the courage to get a diagnosis, and I’m so terribly proud of her.

One thing my friend said to me was that she was afraid to admit to people that she was broken … and that that would be the only way they’d see her from then on.

I turned the tables on her, asking, “Is that how you see me? Forever broken?”

She said, “Of course not. Quite the opposite– I’ve always admired (and envied) your strength!”

The truth of the matter is that we’re all broken. But– in my life– every time I have ponied up and shared my vulnerabilities with others, I have been met with love. I have literally had friends tell me, after I’ve confessed my struggles, “This makes me love you even more.”

If you’re like me, you’re a bit (or more) repulsed by people who “are perfect.” How in the world can they possibly understand my life? Won’t they judge me? It has to be an act, right?

I’m drawn to the real, the genuine, the honest, broken authenticity that comes when people vulnerably acknowledge their brokenness.

My own brokenness has been met, time and time again, with grace that is more precious to me than saving face.

I hope that will be your experience too.