detail of textile painting on wool flannel

Yesterday I said: “I feel vulnerable” to a friend.

It was weird because that word usually has a ‘less-than-great’ connotation.

And it did when I used it.

I wanted to be seen in a particular way and was afraid that wasn’t going to happen.

So… I felt exposed and vulnerable.

Except there was a hidden sweetness there too.

A part of me that didn’t care all that much being exposed.

My hide was permeable.

I wasn’t an armored truck immune to incoming ‘whatever.’

I looked up the definition of vulnerable and at the bottom of a list of less-than-desirable states of being was the word: TENDER.

That’s what I felt yesterday… tender.

In my past life, feeling tender was just too damn scary.

I was out for full on protection of self no matter what and absolutely unwilling to let the fortress gate down to bridge the moat.

No.. the walls were impenetrable and have pretty much stayed that way for years.

If you met me back then (not so long ago) you’d likely never know the grip I had on myself.

But I had made it through some tough stuff and had a tenuous foundation goin’ for me that no one got to mess with.

So really, that left me INvulnerable at least in my own mind.

Sweet for one’s ego but my heart dried up to some extent.

One of the surprises I’ve received in companionship with MS is making friends with the kind of vulnerability I’m speaking of here.

I certainly don’t go around in the world leaving myself exposed to harm.

But I am letting the old guard down more in certain instances in order to be seen as I am; a woman steeped in her humanity trying to get comfortable with it, love it even, with no apologies.

I am changed. Changing. Very alive.

Imperfect, sure.. in the best sense I think.

I’ve still got the old vestiges of me that want to be seen a certain way.

But that girl would be less-than-authentic.

And I now love truth more than pretense.

I am tender to the touch of life now..


One Response to “Vulnerability”

  1. Barry on August 25th, 2010

    There may be a better way to describe it, but for now I’m sticking with “blossoming maturity.”
    Let me also say this: be VERY careful with the “truth” it’s one of the most dangerous words there is.

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