Becoming Kindred Blog

On safe places and vulnerablity

I'm a little behind but I thought that I would do some catching up.

It’s technically day 20 but I missed day 19. I thought about trying to write something yesterday in the evening but instead Dan and I spent a couple of hours breathing out the busy hours of the week. And laughing. I love it when he makes me laugh.

Do you know, I’m over the half way point of 31 days of Becoming Kindred. To tell you the truth, next time I do this…that is if I ever do this again…I think that I am going to stick with something how-to like. I can see it now; 31 days of real food for breakfast, 31 days of natural cleaning, or 31 days of outdoor art. Cause the truth is, this 31 days of Becoming Kindred is a little vulnerable for me.

Last night, I attempted to explain why it was hard to write personally every day. His response was that it “was kind of like a Big Mac. One a month or even one a week might be ok, but every day for a month? You’d get really sick of them.” Did my typically word sensitive husband just compare my writing to a BIG MAC?   Ouch. He backpedaled, I used the moment to receive compliments, and we laughed because although I would have preferred a different food used in his analogy, he explained my thoughts pretty exactly. I’m afraid that 31 days of blogging about anything is over doing it for me, but 31 days of getting personal? Come now.

See, I write on a blog but I’m actually a pretty private person. One of my college friends had a term that she always used when we would gather for late night talks, “sharing hearts” and she still calls for those times via email. But the thing is that sharing my heart has never been my strong point. Because sharing your heart means putting yourself out there and allows for the possibility of getting hurt. Sharing your heart is also opening up to the possibility of being misunderstood. It also is possible that you might be perfectly understood and that someone won’t like what they see.

Every one needs a safe place. I found mine in a old college dorm room, sitting on the floor playing dice, eating popcorn and “sharing hearts” with a group of funny, serious, crazy, and uniquely special girls. They were so unlike me and yet they loved me…as me. They were the first space that I found my voice. They taught me how to share my heart because they marched right past the hedge of well-established prickles and settled in, for good. I don’t think that they could ever know just what they did in my life. I might not know what I did in their life either.

It’s been ten years. We are grown women now and most of us are married with twenty-some children between us. The “girls” are scattered across Canada and the US while one is in Japan. When we were leaving our little prairie college, I said that I didn’t think we would ever stay in touch. Guess what? They are still my safe place.  

 I learned from them that if I am to become kindred, if I am to make connections with others, I must be vulnerable. It’s hard to be vulnerable because I’m messy. It’s even harder to be vulnerable in this more public space because it’s a pseudo safe place. By that I mean that the vulnerability is more one sided; I’m putting my thoughts out while not really knowing who is receiving them. Sometimes, I wake up in the night wondering, “why did I post that?” or, “that probably didn’t come across the way that I intended.”

But then I get a comment or an email where some one else creates a safe place by also being vulnerable.

And then I am reaffirmed in believing that this is good. It’s not my job to make sure that every person reading likes or even cares about my words. What is important is that I speak truthfully and carefully of the life I have been given.

Still, when November 1st rolls around, I am going to celebrate with a how-to post. Moving forward!

Can you tell me, what's your safe place?