I wonder how many times in our lives someone communicated to us this message: “There’s something wrong with you!” Of course, the message is never delivered just like that. The “something” is likely defined more specifically, and then the charge is made. Another person has found something about us or in our behavior or our appearance or our beliefs or our neighborhood (the list is endless) that they disapprove us, and: “There’s something wrong with you.”
I think we learn that we are vulnerable very often because of those experiences where someone has found something wrong with us, and they found a way to deliver that message in a way that left marks on us–on our psyche, on our soul (and maybe sometimes on our bodies).
And so we hide. We hide those places and parts about us, as best we can, that might provoke someone else to deliver the message. Sharing our vulnerabilities with another human being requires courage. In those moments, we are choosing to reveal something about ourselves that someone else decided was “wrong” with us. The transformative moment comes when we find that human being who will simply receive us, or to use another word that we cherish, someone who will welcome us. Radically. As we are. No judgment. No fear making. No shame. And, I’ve had too many experiences and heard too many stories not to add this: when we do open our tender places to another person who welcomes us, there is great power there, for both people. They each learn that opening into one another affirms our human dignity like almost nothing else. There is everything right about that.
Essential awareness of/from both people in this unique pairing make it work not through polarity but through trust that one’s vulnerability won’t be used or abused. The ground work seems to be the anchor for both. How does one reach the point where they know enough about the other person to confide and feel safe? Lots of little steps in the evolution of trust. An context of statements or experience that present a culture of trust. It takes a long time and consistent sharing to be a true friend, especially if the relationship is not inherently equal. if one has more or less education or money, a different view of politics , a history that cannot be understood through empathy. What I’m trying to say is the relationships between people are always in flux, if you can build it it is more precious than gold. To Maintain it is the work of mutual dignity.