I was checking out a new book published by Windblown Media. It’s called Bo’s Café. The book description on their web page has this line, “Exchanging safety for messy vulnerability” Wow, that’s sums it up doesn’t it? It reminds me of a saying I once had on my wall, “A ship in the harbor is safe but that is not what a ship is made for (William Shedd or Grace Hopper?)
I don’t like “messy” in relationships. To tell you the truth it frightens me. Well, what frightens me is taking the risk of “messy” with someone who has the power in my life to wound. Don’t get me wrong I believe in exchanging safety for messy vulnerability but it is exchanging safety!
Safety is a luxury and yet it is also a necessity. It’s hard for me to walk the balance between safety and vulnerability. Losses in my life have taught me that you can’t predict who will forsake you relationally when things get “messy” and yet no one can live life as an island.
I have some buoy people, that is people who keep me from going adrift and losing myself. I have been messy and vulnerable and they have stuck with me in spite of it. In many ways there is only one way to know if a relationship will stand the test of time and messiness. That is taking the time and testing the waters exchanging safety for messy maybe in less vulnerable things first.
I also have people in my life who are not safe with my vulnerability. I teach women to listen to the alarm bells that go off inside their heads. God gave us intuition as a protection. We have taught people to ignore their insight and “buck up”. I don’t agree! Shame can drive us into exchanging safety for abuse. So God where is the line? (listening) Wow, the sense I have which seems intended for me very personally is how huge of a need I have for safety, that it’s important to meet that need first before I risk vulnerability and that He is the source of that safety.
Wow, that’s cool! The sense I have is of coming to Him to be secured before walking into any situation that involves vulnerability. Maybe it isn’t exchanging safety for messy vulnerability but getting safety outside of human relationship so that vulnerability is possible?