Friday, March 11, 2011

to be vulnerable


in my high school english class, we had an assignment where everyone went to the whiteboard and wrote one word that described humanity.

i wrote vulnerable.

and this week, i've seen exactly why i felt that way back then, and how it still rings true to me now. i received the sweetest compliment from an elderly woman at wal-mart. a simple, "i just love your dress" kept me elated for the next few days. it was enough to get me through pressures at work and growing demands at school that threatened to swallow me whole this week.

but i've been put down, too. called down, pushed down, and gently placed down off my invisible pedestal. and that's been enough to ruin me for weeks at a time. it's a vicious, yet altogether worth it, two-sided coin, this being human.

because at our very nature, we are interactive. yet, as the Bible reminds us, we are also flawed, imperfect creatures. so on this earth, we correspond every day with people who can never, no matter how hard they try, be 100% good, 100% of the time. we're going to hurt each other, there's no getting around that. but we're also going to lift each other up to unexpected heights, too. because as humans, we have the power to do both.

sometimes i forget the weight of my words. their heaviness and impact. their power to leave scars or to erase them. it's a huge and overwhelming responsibility. but scanning through the cold freezer aisle of wal-mart, i was reminded.

that it's also a beautiful gift, bestowed on us by a God who believes in our ability to do great things, and say nice ones. to lovingly reach for that perfect goodness, even if it's always right past our fingertips. because in the reaching, we love, and in the loving, we lift.

23 comments:

b. lee said...

stunning * I would buy your book for myself & every lover of words I know ...

shopgirl said...

I absolutely love this post. everything you say is true. this post is a great reminder of how all of us...affect the world - through a word and a smile.
You also write very poetically which I respect and admire....

I hope you have a wonderfuly, happy weekend sweetie!
xoxo

Lady Grey said...

You were a wise teenager!
I love this post as well. I think it's going to stay with me for the rest of the day.
xo

Christi said...

I totally agree with b. lee.

Jennifer Rod said...

beautiful post. encouraging. :)



xoxo
singwhenitrains.blogspot.com

Thisisme. said...

Wonderful post today (well, they're all pretty special!)), and isn't it lovely how words from a stranger can lift our spirits. These words take nothing to say, yet their ripples can spread far and wide. One of my favourite words to do with humanity, is "kindness". If we were all to be kind to each other, what a better place the world would be. Enjoy your weekend dear friend.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I completely agree on vulnerability. Great post!

melissa said...

You are such a smart young lady! Beautiful post doll! Have a great weekend xo

Meri said...

The hurtful words sure can leave a mark, but I'm inspired that you choose to reflect on the kind ones :) Lovely image too.

Diana Smith said...

I am the same way! Whenever I get an unexpected compliment, I just gloat! It makes me soo much happier!

Ana* said...

"vulnerability," you couldn't have picked a better word. this just shows you have been a wise apple since your teenage years

jeanette from everton terrace said...

I once walked up to a woman in Target who was having quite the time explaining to her daughter why she could not have another doll because she had already spent her allowance and if she wanted something else, she would need to save up next time. I told her how wonderfully I thought she was handling the situation and I know how hard it is to say no but the lesson is worth it (my grown daughter was with me). She got a bit emotional and hugged me. I was so impacted by her hug that I try to say something nice to at least one person each time I leave the house, problem is I don't get out much :)

Blondie's Journal said...

I have to be the most vulnerable person in the world. As you said...a kind word can lift my spirits all day, all week. And a harsh one is devastating. I know we can't be responsible for what others say, but we can reward kindness with kindness. Wonderful post, Courtney!

XO,
Jane

Lynn {hearted girl} said...

i'm so happy to hear your day was made better by something like that compliment! i love how such a simple thing can make the biggest impact on a soul.

you know being vulnerable is such a blessing b/c it means you are an open heart. the people who try to taint it are only doing damage to themselves darling girl. the last part you wrote about reaching and lifting, wow, tingles. the perfect way to wind it up and summarize everything. i just love your writing, please publish a book so i can keep it on the bed stand and refer to it for insp and enlightenment. xoox ♥

Jessica said...

Another beautiful post today girl!
Have a wonderful weekend. :)

Mo Pie, Please said...

As always, beautifully written! Have a great weekend!

Amber Blue Bird said...

so true. I always try to go out of my way to give a compliment or an encouraging word because I know how much those words mean to me

everyone calls me bon bon said...

True true! Such an insightful post. I've been re-learning lately how vulnerability and honesty in life and in relationships brings such beauty. xoxo

Jane said...

Ah, Courtney, your insight is astounding. Thanks for sharing and reminding us how easily we can make a positive impact on someone. J x

Megan said...

adore this post. you have a true gift for writing, friend. inspirational and so very true. so happy you found my blog and led me to yours!!

Ashley Slater said...

I love this post! Really loving your blog too!

Glad I found it :)

Shalyn said...

Vulnerability- what a terrific word to describe us! I was also reminded of this recently when I said something as a joke but that offended someone. I apologized, but had to remember what my words mean and how "vulnerable" we are. Thanks for the reminder!

angie on maui said...

You are beautiful, inside and out.

And those are my words for you, today. :) I am so happy that you are blogging, writing and sharing your thoughts and feelings with us. You encourage, you inspire and you make visiting your little space here on the web an absolute joy.

xoxo.

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