Vulnerability: What to Do When You Feel Like Bono’s Luggage

Have you seen this today from CNN?

Bono

“Have you seen Bono’s luggage?

“U2’s Bono was en route to Germany when a door on his private jet fell off midflight, sending his luggage tumbling out.”

Vulnerability is apparently the new power suit. I don’t wear it very well. Everywhere I turn, every expert voice is encouraging vulnerability as the latest leg-up on success. But I’m lousy at it. I’m too well-practiced in image-management for vulnerability to take root quickly or easily–not that it’s quick or easy for anyone remotely human. Our birthright seems to come stock with a self-protection plan.

I do believe in it though, not just because Brene Brown has compiled some stellar research on it, or because biblical text recommends it, but mostly because I know what it means to me when others are willing to be vulnerable. So at great risk to my own sense of propriety, I peek out from behind my shield and squeak out a confession: I’m more than a little discouraged.

I imagine you reading that line, and have to restrain myself from rushing to type “but tomorrow I won’t be…la ti da…blah…blah…blah…” and a bunch more Pollyanna stuff that seems to dishonor the moment. Truth is, even while I continue to experience some really amazing, unsolicited gifts from the hand of God, I am experiencing the pain of a couple of what seem to be pretty important life details it seems heaven has forgotten, or worse, just doesn’t care about. Therefore, a seemingly-innocuous conversation brought me to tears this morning.

As I lay on my bed, soaking the quilt with tears–yes, a grown woman, I realized that a GPS would mark me with the same coordinates on this very day as it would have nearly four decades ago as a teen–same house, same room, same fetal position albeit different furnishings and new paint. For someone with a love of hotels and airports, I didn’t get far. It’s hard to talk to One whom you think might have forgotten you, who might have lost you–like maybe the door fell off his private luxury jet.

But I did anyway. Mostly because I had read this by Teresa of Avila this morning before that conversation:

“Sometimes God, too, allows his servants to have stormy days for their greater good and, although they are distressed and seek to calm themselves, they are unable to do so…but let them pray as well as they can and even not pray at all, but consider the soul to be sick and give it some rest, busying themselves in some other act of virtue.”

I’m not sure writing about it can be considered “some other act of virtue,” but I’m not sure it can’t either. So can we just agree that I’m practicing vulnerability and call it even? Frankly, I’d much rather be considered expert in “doing the with-God-life thing” than let anyone see the messiness of the “green room.” But they are equal parts of the same story. Thank God we don’t have to pretend–not with God and not with each other.

Funny. The weatherman is predicting that the worst snowfall in nearly 20 years, beginning today, yet I feel Narnia thawing a bit. Perhaps Aslan is on the move after all. (And maybe maybe Bono’s luggage will be found. Who knows?)

———————————————

I’m equally lousy at coming up with brilliant questions to elicit your clever responses but I love it when you talk back. Speak to me. (Click comment under the post title.)

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2 thoughts on “Vulnerability: What to Do When You Feel Like Bono’s Luggage

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