March 7, 2023

I say that pain and fear, when they show
themselves, come out looking like anger. I think
vulnerability is like that. We tie ourselves up in knots
and get into a lot of trouble with the ways we cover
our vulnerability.
                                                  ~~ Krista Tippet

My granddaughter Kassandra was trying to help her little brother Kaleb develop better strategies for dealing with bullies. He explodes angrily when teased or taunted, and gets accused of starting fights. She told him, “You need to tell yourself you don’t care what they think or say, and walk away.”

Sensible advice, but hard to follow. The taunting hurts, and the big boys are scary. Lashing out in anger is a response to his vulnerability, and his pain and fear.

My parents had high standards for themselves and their children. We were generally expected to conquer or hide our weaknesses and vulnerabilities. I suspect I have worked too hard at being self-sufficient, when showing my softer spots and asking for help would have been a better path.

There are times when we need to hide our vulnerability to protect ourselves from physical or psychic harm. There are other times when letting our vulnerabilities show and relaxing our edges is good for us. It helps us grow and grow closer toeach other.

What did you learn about showing vulnerability in your family of origin? Was it acknowledged and modeled, or shamed or punished? What did your family teach you about asking for help? Those are some questions suggested for journaling and reflection in this month’s Soul Matters packet. If you’d like a copy, please email Jessica, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or me, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and we will send it to you.

Spring will come! I am grateful for this community and grateful to be your minister.Janets signature