Embracing Vulnerability Made Us Stronger
By sellabitmum on January 04, 2014
So when does it become a weakness to admit needing something?
I even find I stray from vulnerability when I write. I want to write the happy things, the clean things, the neat things, the easy things, the things that don't ask for advice. But when I've opened up about the hard things, the hard to admit things, and the messy-not-so-perfect things, I feel the weight lifted off of my chest. This weight that you all take from me piece by piece as loved ones do as you work in combination to carry a burden and protect me as I can finally be vulnerable and breathe again.
How long have I been holding my breath?
I met Jed in the recovery room. I sat gently on his bed, kissed his forehead, and put my head near his as I stroked his hair for a very long time. He slept on and off and I was just there. I didn't think of him as weak in those moment - actually the exact opposite - that he was strong enough to want me to be there.
Being vulnerable is sexy.
A few days later I told Jed something that I needed. I haven't asked Jed for anything in years, but for the first time in a long time I felt a level of trust, love, connection and mutual vulnerability that it felt freeing to truly ask him for something that was important to me.
"Jed, I need you to accept my past. To acknowledge and love me not only for now and the future with our family, but for what brought me to today," I said quietly. "You fell in love with not just me, but what I've done - the good and bad, my life experiences, and the 29 years I had before life led me to you."
Sometimes Jed likes to pretend he married a quiet, trust-funded, virginal, blond, Catholic girl from New England. Jed instead fell in love with an opinionated, middle-class, divorced and experienced, Atheist woman from the Midwest. Now, 16 years later, he needs to finally be okay with that and be vulnerable enough to know that it doesn't matter what anyone thinks of my past, especially him. If I cannot start talking about my whole life, then I will continue to live a closed-life that is lonely, full of walls and stifling to not just my creativity and ability to love, but to our relationship and future.
So I asked Jed to be vulnerable with me, to admit to mistakes and failures, to look for help and more hugs, and to live true and messy lives together.
We are checking our egos at the door this year. We have to if we expect this marriage to last a lifetime.
We've found each other again-- those two people who met on an airplane to Bangkok 16 years ago. We remembered the honest and open conversations we had for those 20 hours - about divorce and loves and heartbreaks and dreams. Good sex is truly such a bonus. I just need to wear dark glasses now when I go to the grocery store.
Tracy writes about the lighter side of parenthood at www.sellabitmum.com