Yup, today is Steve’s birthday. He is beginning to get comfortable saying that he is “in his late 40s”. We are still working on being transparent with ourselves and each other, genuine, authentic. This morning we talked about how difficult that is for parents to do with their children. We want to be better people, better role models, especially in front of them. But we miss the opportunity to be fully present, fully alive, and fully responsive when we hide behind those roles. That can hurt. The child may feel like they are not worthy to receive the person they love the most. I remember how honored I felt when my father asked me to help him with something. I was the mother of 4 children by then. He had broken his back and was lying flat in traction in the hospital. He asked me to help him brush his teeth by catching his spit in a pan when he spouted it straight up. It was the first time I truly felt that he was volunteering his vulnerability. I left the hospital in tears, not because I pitied him, but because I was so happy to feel connected to this man I adored for so long.
A man who had been my spiritual director for years sent me a TED video this week about Vulnerability. I highly recommend it. See if you don’t recognize something about yourself here. It may be a surprise. Then see if you can find someone to talk to about it. It may be a pivotal point in your life.
Today is All Saints’ Day as well. Here’s to all the truly good friends, the saints in our lives, who allow themselves to be seen, to be vulnerable, to be genuinely available and thereby, help us to find the courage to join them in that important place. “And I mean, God helping, to be one, too.”
(Steve, dressed up to see the musical “Hair” with me.)