Vulnerability. It is not something that comes easily. Opening myself up emotionally, is difficult. I was raised by parents who never seemed to care how I felt. They never asked how I was coping with things. The most tragic times in my life, I don’t really recall them being involved in my emotional support.
When others ask how I am feeling , I honestly don’t give it much thought. I am not use to labeling my feelings. The idea of going to others with an emotional need, doesn’t usually cross my mind. Even when asked if there is anything I need, unless I have a very specific need or want, I rarely express need.
I see this in others too. Allowing oneself to be vulnerable, to face the possibility of rejection or ridicule causes us to pause with fear. Despite all our social “openness,” we stay shallow. We share pictures of our life, but fail to be open about what is truly going on in our life.
I admit, I find myself in awe of those who with deep honesty put themselves out there to others. I admire people who can openly express how they feel. People who know what they want and are not afraid to ask for it. So often asking for help is the most difficult step.
However, Jesus lived another lifestyle. He was very much in touch with his emotions. There were things that saddened him. Things that angered him. He expressed them freely, and without apology. He was trying to help them understand that the kingdom is not void of emotion, but full of it.
He also didn’t even have a problem seeking the support of others. At the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus faced the most difficult time of His life. Although He was going to the Father with the request, He asked for those closest to Him to come alongside and be with Him during that time.
Throughout the gospels, we often find Jesus having the disciples go and ask others for what was needed. He was teaching them that we are all dependent on each other. He was teaching them to ask for what they needed, but not to take what wasn’t offered freely.
We are called to live by Christ’s example. We need to not only be in touch with our emotions, but openly and appropriately share them. We need to be willing to share not only our joys with others, but also our trials and struggles. We were made to share one another’s burdens, joy, and sorrow. This requires vulnerability.