Let Vulnerability In

When your sister is in a monologue production you go and support her. When the monologue production is “Coming Out” monologue, you don’t bat an eye, you go because your sister is your sister—love is love.

Tuesday night I had the opportunity to see one of my favorite people in the world share a very powerful story with a group of onlookers: some she knew some she didn’t. This story was about one of her coming out stories. It was honest, vulnerable, hilarious and heart-wrenching all at the same time. I am so thankful that I was able to experience all of the stories Shared that evening. It was eye-opening, enlightening, depressing, and uplifting. I am especially grateful for the ability to support my sister.

Many of you are probably scratching your heads. “Sister coming out?” Clarification: this sister is a sister of the heart. She babysat us when we were young, and has been a part of our family ever since. Like myself, she is the youngest child in her nuclear family and I identify a lot with her. She’s someone I look up to, someone who inspires me with her strength and someone who I am blessed to have had in my life over the years.

Life isn’t always easy. Sometimes our family is chosen instead of blood. Sometimes those who “get us”, accept us for us, and love us conditionally are not those who are obligated to because those who are supposed to love us have shut that door. That’s hard for me. I don’t close doors easily. I harbor pain and deeply feel the emotions of others, but I give and give and give—often times more chances than should be allowed. Even though it hurts sometimes, I love this part of me. Because it reminds me that everyone has a story—we need only listen and allow others a space to share and be vulnerable.

Emotionally Drained

As I sit here and write, I don’t even know where to begin.  I’ve started to write, erased, and restarted several times.  It seems like too much, and I can’t wrap my mind around–any of it.  I feel tired.  Not the sleepy tired at the end of the day.  Not the panting tired after running a 5k.  Not the sluggish tired from being lazy all day long.  I’m tired because my emotions haven’t had a moment to rest.  Rather, my sadness and confusion haven’t had time to dissipate.

One after another.  Natural disasters, national disagreements, mass shootings.  I see it, and hear it and take it in because I have a strong bent toward empathy and embracing the hurt, confusion and despair of others.  And so I feel the emotional fatigue pull at my being, begging me to succumb.

I don’t have the answers.  Even though I have strong opinions (go figure) and have always been fascinated with politics, there are specific reasons why that was never a chosen field for me.  I’ve been quiet a lot recently about my opinions on such heartache.  That’s more so because I’ve had to take extra care for myself in processing the pain and suffering.  That doesn’t mean I’m apathetic.  It doesn’t mean I don’t try every way that is manageable for  me to be part of the solution.  But I think with all of the recurrences I will force myself to do more. To advocate for what I believe, to help those less fortunate and to continually listen to how God is calling me to respond.

May we all do our part to help how we can, because we cannot do this alone.  I find the quote from Parker Palmer below very interesting, and though I haven’t fully decided if I agree, it is thought provoking and that is the kind of thing I need in this moment.