“Vulnerability is the essence of romance. It’s the art of being uncalculated, the willingness to look foolish, the courage to say, ‘This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not.'”
I found this message this morning, a quote, and although I don’t recall where I found it originally, I remember why I wrote it in my journal.
“Vulnerability is the essence of romance.”
The concept isn’t lost on me. Nor is it new to me.
A few days ago, I visited with friends I hadn’t seen in a while, driving them from Bloomfield to Pueblo as they traversed a ‘change’ in their vacation venues. Both have aged a bit since I last saw them, but our friendship hasn’t changed. Marylou and I chattered the whole distance, non-stop. Chuck snoozed, or viewed the scenery, or added a comment to our chatter – from the back seat it’s difficult to catch all the discussions in the front.
I have loved and admired Chuck from nearly the first moment I met him, due to an intense wisdom that resonates within him, and his ability to speak only a few meaningful words into a situation and pretty much cover the breadth of it. He’s been an amazing friend and encourager in my life.
Marylou and I have enjoyed an enduring friendship of up and downs, mentoring, supporting, encouraging, and deflating… Her outspoken, unfiltered methods of communication, have at times set me on the defensive, yet we always find our way back to ‘friends’, soulfully reconnected. I’m sure my defensive walls have discouraged her at times, as well.
I tend to be more tenacious than vulnerable in most relationships. I protect my heart in ways that don’t allow people inside my reality, and cower away from those who might hurt me, or injure me in some emotional way. My fear of abandonment has left me – as my son revealed a few years back – oozing victim-hood, which scared away the most insistent of pursuers. Even in matters ‘not of the heart’ my fear has often left me unwilling to ‘take a chance’ on a possibility – although, I find myself more willing to GIVE than to SELL.
Head knowledge vs. Heart? I know there must be marketing strategies, plans to succeed, and as a business owner, GIVING away more than I SELL doesn’t work, so my ‘uncalculated’ process of doing business has to be strategically planned and those whom I serve ultimately end up realizing they must pick up the tab, or my services can’t continue.
1 Timothy 5:18
For the Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,” and, “The worker is worthy of his wages.”
Nobody wants to think of themselves as an ox, yet, I am a worker, worthy of my wage. In business, if not in love, the marketing process must include retribution, paybacks of a sort, qualified to be a wage. In all my brilliance, I do realize and recognize the wisdom in charging a worthy payment for reputable results and quantitative effort.
In romance, or in business, the willingness to expose oneself to others, in a vulnerable, trusting way is important. We must be willing to allow others to see who we truly are, and accept that some won’t treat us the way we want to be treated, but we MUST show them how to treat us. We must ask. We must reveal our needs to others and tell them how to treat us, show them how to respect, desire, and appreciate us in the ways we want to be desired, appreciated, and respected.
Sometimes that willingness to reveal our deepest desire, and expose ourselves, appears to be foolish, and other times, simply transparent. But our willingness to be REAL, to show the warn and frayed edges of our real, and temporal selves, can be the most attractive thing about us. Occasionally, when we allow ourselves to show the real heart of who we are, we reveal our passion.
In the Wizard of Oz (so not my favorite movie), the Tin Man wanted a heart, the Scarecrow wanted a Brain, and the Lion – the King of the Jungle, who already had a heart, and plenty of wisdom – wanted COURAGE. He wanted strength to SHOW-UP when he was needed.
Courage. Such a simple little thing, but so necessary to have when you realize you’re small, alone, and insignificant in this big wide world. When you’re lost, courage will help you find your way back to where you need to be. When you’re abandoned and alone, courage will help you find others who care about you. When you’re insignificant where you are, in a world so big that you become a speck in the universe, courage will give you strength to reach out to the God who created you in His IMAGE, and ask HIM to guide you where he wants you to go, and have FAITH that He will do as you asked.
For you who are reading this message, I want you to know, “This is me, and I’m interested in you enough to show you my flaws with the hope that you may embrace me for all that I am but, more important, all that I am not.” Thank you, Ashton Kutcher for those wise and wonderful words to share.
As we parted, Marylou was off to visit with the next friend, and Chuck came back to offer me a blessing that was fully thought out, well worded, and filled to overflowing with the wisdom of a dear and loving friend. I accepted his blessing and allowed it to resonate in my heart and soul all the way home, revealing to me once again the insight this man has into life, specifically my life. Thank you, Chuck and Marylou, for being my friends for more than a quarter of a century, I can only pray for many more years of friendship.
Lord, I accept that blessing. And more… I pray it comes true. Thank you, Lord for filling my life with such friends! In Jesus precious name… Amen