You Can Sit With Us

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Do you know that in order to form a real relationship, we must be vulnerable? Awe, vulnerability that’s a tough one for most of us, but why? Studies show that it is out of past hurts and betrayals from others who were supposed to love and protect us. As we get older,we begin to build walls in order to reduce more harm but ultimately can feel lonely from the lack of real connections. Well, that sucks!

Let’s imagine for a moment what it would be like if we could be our real selves. Do you think if others were honest about how they felt and what they were going through, would you be more apt to do the same? I think so! Trust is key to vulnerability and connection is what gives us real meaning in our lives. One thing that I am learning and this only happened through the grace of God, is what I like to call “taking inventory”. As I began my journey with God and was investing time in getting to know Him, He started speaking to me through His word and other sources about my own character. I laugh now because most of us think that it’s others that need to change but our sweet Lord, always starts with us. It’s because he is a loving parent and we my friends, need correction.

We are shaped by our environment, experiences, and what we are allowing into our minds everyday. It is such a slippery slope to fall into the enemy’s pit from hurts we have experienced. We begin justifying our own behavior with gossip, judgement, meanness, self- righteousness, and maybe even revenge. These characteristics if we are not careful will define us. The bible says that what’s in our hearts will come out of our mouths as well in our actions. Quick disclosure-( I want my writing to be as authentic as possible so I am going to share some of my stories with you along the way so you never feel alone).

I was in a long- term relationship and it was brutal to say the least. There was betrayal, manipulation, control, secrets, and many, many others toxic dynamics and I was hurt and very angry. I would justify my anger towards this individual because of his actions but was taking no responsibility for my own words. I probably called him every name in the book at one time or another. I would think how can one person be so destructive? I would quickly run away and feel so much guilt and shame. I would tell myself, ” Shannon, get yourself under control.” Each time, he would come back and I would fall right back into believing that things would get better. When things would go “south” as they usual did, I would run for the hills again. My inner voice was warning me, this is not love but I wanted to believe different. Overtime, I completely shut down and there was no more vulnerability. I did not feel safe. I carried fear and shame because I felt I was not good enough to be loved in a healthy way. And I did not have too many people I could share these feelings with. I don’t know about you but I really do hate gossip so I had a hard time reconciling sharing my feelings but not letting those feelings turn into gossip. See at the end of the day, there are people out there that are very broken because of their own “stuff” so for me, I couldn’t see it clearly at the time, it was too personal. I was much too angry and also carrying my own “stuff” too.

However, God began to work on my  heart and my own wounds and each day, I would turn to Him, he would speak to me about my own character. He was teaching me how to see other’s as He see them. He was also teaching me that I was worthy of genuine love and belonging. According to Brene’ Brown, the only difference between being vulnerable or not being vulnerable is believing  that you are worthy of love. Do you know that our number one need is love and our number two need is to feel like we belong? Those needs are universal, it is how God wired us.

So what do people who know they are worthy of love have in common? Again, according to researcher and author, Brene’ Brown here are the following…

They are “wholehearted” individuals.

1. They possess courage. What this means is that they have the courage to be imperfect. They don’t pretend to be someone they are not.

2. The possess compassion- Compassion for themselves and compassion for others

3. Connection- Letting go of who they think they should be and actually being their “authentic” self.  Flaws and all.

The reason they fully embrace vulnerability is because the believe that is what makes them beautiful. How do they do this? Willingness! Here are some examples..

Saying thank you, saying I love you, asking for help, doing something for someone else with “no strings” attached or no guarantees. The willingness to let go of control, predictions and judgements. Being authentic, no agenda!

Now, here is the kicker, it all starts with Jesus. If you have ever read any part of the gospels, you would know that Jesus was completely vulnerable in all areas of his life. Jesus was authentic in all His relationships. There was no hiding or pretending, just willingness.

We try and numb our emotions with possessions, money, addictions, sex, food, entertainment and so it goes. But here’s the thing, you cannot numb your emotions, they are always there tapping you on the shoulder saying, ” thought you could get away from me?” I don’t think so!

The good news is there is a way, and that way is Jesus. He is the birthplace for love, joy, honesty, fullness and, belonging. All you have to do is have enough courage to talk to Him.  He wants to hear from you. He wants to guide you, He wants to transform you, He wants to love you!

Have you ever been around someone who was completely authentic? It’s a rarity but I have and you just light up when you are around them. What if that person was you?

I want to encourage you and myself to “take inventory” of who you are and who you really want to be. I believe we all want real connections in our lives, it is truly how we grow. Christ said, I am the way, the truth and the light! Let’s go to Him. He is waiting for us to call on Him. What can you do today to show vulnerability to another? What can you do today to take that first step in making a real connection. Be willing and ask God to be with you!

The next book I want to recommend is “ The Shack” by William P. Young. You will not be able to put this book down.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest- Matthew 11:28

Shan- xo


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