January 27, 2023

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Discussion, Religion | vulnerability space

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We are fast approaching Christmas. The time when we celebrate that God became human. The time when God became like us and gave up His kingdom. We have all heard the Gospel of Christmas, with Emperor Augustus and his command to bring the whole world into the census, and how Joseph and Mary set out on the long journey to Bethlehem and Mary who gave birth to her firstborn in a stable. And there, in a stable in Bethlehem, God Himself became a man. to a baby. wrapped and put in two pairs of tired hands. In this stable, God made himself completely dependent on two people. Two people with their flaws and shortcomings as we find in each of us. If it is really true that God Himself became a human being, and not just a human being, but an infant – then it is radical. Radically weak.

Follow me a little further down the bible lines in search of vulnerability. In Luke chapter 9, Jesus talks about following him. In verse 23 we can see that he is saying “If anyone follows me…”. Following Jesus then, as now, was a choice people made of their own free will. Jesus was fully aware of this, and therefore He did not say, “When someone wants to follow Me.” Jesus knew that if someone wanted to follow him, the possibility of choosing not to follow him must also exist. “If anyone wants to follow me…”.

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Where there is true acceptance and love, there is also the possibility of rejection. It is only when the possibility of being able to say no becomes a reality. Being in this space is weak. For most of us, this is a challenging and potentially painful place to be. Many of us build walls to protect ourselves from potential rejection. Possibly bad experiences in which trust is shattered lie like heavy clouds over life. In the worst case scenario, we risk alienating the people we are happy with—for fear of rejection and abandonment. Little do you know that the prophecy often ends, unfortunately, in self-fulfillment, and that to a greater extent you end up feeling unloved and alone. Perhaps one was not willing to enter the space where the possibility of true acceptance exists. The fear of facing rejection has become a very big hurdle to overcome. To be vulnerable is to be brave, precisely because you are risking something. Renowned Professor Bren Brown, who has studied vulnerability for more than two decades, says, among other things, “vulnerability makes us see ourselves.” Weakness requires something from us. It requires us to let others in beyond our walls. In this way, we can be seen and met in the depths of being human. However, it requires effective action on one’s part. “Vulnerability is allowing ourselves to be seen.” I let you see me. It requires me to choose to let you in.

I wonder if the vulnerability does not start in ourselves. To first dare to be naked and honest with ourselves. When we dare to ask ourselves questions, it can be difficult to ask and difficult to hear the answers to. Allowing people to do something you don’t even know what it is or what it consists of will feel more intimidating than inviting someone to do something you know yourself – both when it comes to your strengths and weaknesses. Could it be that we are afraid of what we want to find within ourselves, making it difficult for us to let others in to see who we really are?

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“You can do nothing with another person without holding something of his life in your hands,” wrote the Danish philosopher Knud Logstrup in his book The Moral Challenge. We were created to live in society. in the nearby community. We were created to be loved, to see and to meet in the depths of being human. When God Himself chooses to come to Earth as a baby, literally placing His life in the hands of two people, He challenges me. It challenges me because looking at history, with my human eyes, indicates that God’s experience is that man cannot be trusted. Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree, the only tree they could not touch in the Garden of Eden. However, despite this, God again chooses to show himself weak. He could have slipped through a plan that was bulletproof, but he chose to stay in the space of vulnerability where acceptance and rejection exist. This defies me to dare to be vulnerable. Vulnerable in meeting myself and others, so that I can once again build real, close relationships where you feel loved, seen, and met.

It’s terrifying, but beautiful. She is weak but bold. But it just shows me that if we’re going to live a real life, that’s where we have to live. This is when we really live.