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Sunday, January 16, 2011

Denying Vulnerability

I know I haven't posted for a while, but judging by how few blog updates I found on my dashboard, it was a busy week for everyone.

My last real post was about certainty, something that I've thought about ever since. The day after my certainty post I had a meeting with my therapist, and it was a really hard meeting. The confidence that I had the preceding week was officially shattered during that session, and to be quite honest I was somewhat hurt by the things my therapist said. Or perhaps it was more the unspoken words that hurt. Regardless, it sent me reeling back into the chasm of confusion and doubt, and despite the last week of climbing I'm still not quite out.

But I have been thinking about certainty and about faith. I really appreciate Rob's comment on my post. I also really liked his post on his own blog. He always gives very sound counsel. But it actually seems somewhat ironic that in the LDS church we have come to link certainty and faith as synonyms, when really, they are complete opposites. If we have faith, we don't know things for certain. We have assurance. We believe. We say that we know, but that knowledge is not a certainty. It is faith. And really, it is the lack of certainty that makes faith powerful.

I can't for the life of me remember where I read this, whether on a blog, in an article, or in No More Goodbyes, but I read something about how religion used to be a belief in mystery that explained what doesn't make sense. But now we have changed religion in order to define every minute detail of what doesn't make sense. But that kind of defeats the purpose. (Just found the reference. It's on the video of Brene Brown that I reference later).

So maybe, just maybe we aren't meant to understand everything. Are we supposed to ask? By all means, yes! But do we need a detailed explanation in order to move forward at all? No. And we're not going to get one. And technically, that's what we teach in the church. But few actually want to go forward without that certainty.

Because if you aren't certain, there's room for doubt. It's possible that you're wrong. And if you're not certain you're vulnerable. And no one likes being vulnerable.

I love this video of Brene Brown, and can't do it justice in a few words. But she talks about how the way to truly live is to allow yourself to be vulnerable. Being vulnerable can open the way to true living.

By no means am I ready for this. But I'm going to try. To be frank, it scares the hell out of me. But I'm tired of living my life striving for perfection in order to compensate for my vulnerability. Because ultimately, it led me to a position where I didn't even know what I liked or wanted in life. I didn't even know who I was. Because I'd never dared to open up and find out.

But if we don't open up and truly live, then what point is there in living at all?

1 comments:

apronkid said...

"...religion used to be a belief in mystery that explained what doesn't make sense. But now we have changed religion in order to define every minute detail of what doesn't make sense. But that kind of defeats the purpose."

I like that. It makes religion so much more likable and simple. I also think it makes religion more personal, more spiritual even.

It's really cool you're accepting vulnerability. Accepting vulnerability has been the only real resolution I made for this year. It's a really hard thing to do, and I confess I have a hard time letting my walls down even when I consciously try. It's not going to be comfortable or pleasant, but I'm sure it'll make all the difference in your life :)

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