Vulnerability or Weakness? –
I was talking with someone today about the difference between weakness and vulnerability when it comes to relationships.
Weakness is not having power. An inability to stop, inhibit, make someone quit or start a particular behavior. Weakness is not being able to choose.
Vulnerability, however, is having the strength to do or not do a particular behavior. Vulnerability comes from a place of power a place of being able to choose.
When we are weak in a relationship it means the other has power over us. We are at their mercy, control and cannot choose another way.
When we are vulnerable it means we have power but can choose to approach, love, be with the other in a place that puts us at risk.
If we need to be in control at all times, dominate the other with reminders of our power we will never know true love and intimacy. Both of these come from a place that bears an inherent risk; to be wounded, to be left powerless.
Weakness and vulnerability. Knowing and practicing the difference can mean a life of togetherness and equality or isolation and loneliness.
Is it Love? –
“Love is what love does now. It is revealed in the practice of loving presence and action now. Humble acts of everyday kindness, acts that do not encourage attention on the actor, these are what grow us in love.” #LaurenceFreeman
This quote was part of my Morning Office reading today. As I’ve reflected on these words they have echoed in my spirit. “Love” is a word which is thrown around so much it has almost lost its meaning. People tell their partners, spouses, children, family and friends; “I love you,” but also speak of our “love” for chocolate, cellphones, hobbies and clothes. We use the phrase in increasingly flippant and cheap ways for insignificant things.
Love is accompanied by action and love is in the present moment. I’ve wondered today; “can we love in the past? The future?” We can reflect upon what has been, what may be and embrace the emotions which accompany these memories and hopes but is it love if not expressed tangibly?
“Loving” and trying to receive “love” from inanimate objects, material things, will only leave us empty, trying in vain to grasp contentment and fulfillment from that which can never satisfy our deepest longing.
To love is to act presently, to give without expectation of return, to offer ourselves in humility and vulnerability. Love does not seek our good but the good of the one who is loved. It is to risk being harmed, betrayed, taken advantage of, and left empty. However, it also comes with the possibility of being loved in return, the greatest gift we can accept and experience.