No one wants to be vulnerable to the general public, and I’d absorbed the idea that transparency = vulnerability. Recent events have forced me to confront this notion, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I was wrong – transparency is not vulnerability. To see something is not to have the ability to harm it. I can see the moon, can I not?
Transparency increased my vulnerability when I was a child and a teen. That’s because I was already vulnerable, and children are cruel. Being less transparent made it harder to see the real me. It made me feel safer because the arrows aimed in my direction would land outside the real target. They’d still hit, mind you.
I was vulnerable because we moved often, and I wasn’t particularly socially ept. It takes me a long time to make casual friends. (Heart friends are made in a moment or not made at all, in my experience). It takes me a long time to find my place, and we all know that the one who is out of place, out of socket with society, is the one who is vulnerable. Finding my place, my people? That wasn’t something I was blessed with. I was alone for so long… and yes, it hurt.
Because I lived so many years of my life without friends, I cherish my friends now. At nearly 50, I have a double handful of heart-friends – this is riches unparalleled. I’m long married, part of a loving family, I work at a job where I am cared for. I have any number of good-friends, just a step below heart-friends, and other humans seem to like me most of the time (except when I inevitably misstep). I am no longer vulnerable. I am no longer alone.
And yet, I was set to pull up the drawbridge, batten the hatches, pull the curtains and hide… simply because I am about to be hurt. (I have to have surgery). I was – am – going to be made physically vulnerable, so the first thing I could think to do is to make myself disappear. I was stopped. It is part of the process of transformation – for this is true change. God’s arranged a confluence… this is a lesson I must learn.
This transparency is not vulnerability, because I am not vulnerable. I am a rose, a rambling rose found in the woods or in the back of the garden. Long established, it’s easy to trim off a branch or pluck a blossom, but to cause me harm? That’s a difficult proposition. I have roots now.
I have hidden Rose behind Hearth for a very long time. I was so afraid… and the memories tell truth. I was hurt. I was vulnerable. Those times left scars. My missteps in life have left scars. But so has hiding. Transparency is not vulnerability – it’s just transparency.