Thought For The Day – Vulnerability by Rev Jackson
I wonder if you are a fan of those great epic medieval battles. You know the ones with the courageous knights on horseback, spur in hand galloping towards each other! The iconic image is of course of these knights in their suits of shining armour; the sunlight glinting off them, visors down and ready to face anything. If you have been to a historic castle or somewhere that you can see or even try on suits of armour, you will know that whilst they were incredibly effective at protecting the knight from various sharp weapons, they did also make it a bit tricky to move very easily!
I sometimes feel that we can be a bit like those knights within our relationships. We can be so worried about being hurt by others that we try and protect ourselves by putting metaphorical armour on. This might be putting on a ‘brave face’ or pretending to be people we are not to please those around us. Sometimes we might feel we need this protection and that is natural at times, but the problem is that it can stop us from really truly knowing one another and connecting with one another. Have you ever tried to give a hug to someone in a suit of armour? It is impossible!! The very thing that aims to protect us also stops us from growing in our relationships.
It is so important that we have people that we can be vulnerable with. Friends and family who we can be real with about our struggles and who we really are. Often the only way we can grow in our relationships with others is by taking off our metaphorical armour and having that honest conversation. So, perhaps a challenge for us this week is to choose a friend or family member that we trust and share something with them that we usually keep hidden under our armour. In allowing ourselves to be vulnerable we can also give permission for others to do the same, and that can be a huge gift. The author Brené Brown puts it like this, ‘We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known…’ Sometimes it requires even more courage to take off the armour than to put it on- let’s take a risk this week and let ourselves be known.