A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article in which I discussed the huge value of authenticity. People being real with other real people is something I'm passionate about, and the article focussed on the importance of not shuffling to cover our flaws but learning to be honest with one another and with God about the less-than-Pollyanna aspects of our lives. Sure enough, the past few weeks (and even during the writing of the article, if I'm being honest), I seem to have been at my most vulnerable worst. My poor mother, oh counsellor of saintly virtue, has borne the major brunt of my blubbering, whining, stressing, and neuroses. And I find myself apologising for it constantly -- apologising for the lack of cool, the lack of answers, the lack of fakery, the lack of feeling like a completely together grown-up.
But every time Mum responds with kindness or simply by listening patiently (never rolling her eyes at me even when I want to roll them at myself), I'm reminded that she doesn't love me because I'm awesome, mostly because a) I never was that awesome, and b) even if I somehow worked out how to be awesome, I'd forget quickly. And though I am passionate about authenticity, I've realised that I want my realness to come in a more attractive package, which isn't really real at all.
The thing is, weakness is awkward and uncomfortable, embarrassing and messy. It isn't pretty, and it never seems to showcase us at our best. It can't be packaged up into neat little clearly-defined boxes to be pulled out at appropriate moments. "Oh, it's vulnerable time? We're swapping weakness stories? Boy, do I have a doozy for you!"
Weakness is inconvenient. It's annoying. It makes us lean on others -- but that's part of its beauty. None of us want to revel in our weaknesses, but we can, in one sense, embrace them. Weakness tells us we are human. It says we are broken. It reminds us that we need each other and we need a Saviour. Those who love us best know we aren't perfect and, in fact, they rarely expect us to be. Thanks Mum.
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Mothercare -- it was lovely, wasn't it? :)
Meaghan -- ooh! D&M weekends! I love it! PS. "From the area!!" PPS. This.
Carla -- THIS MUST BE REMEDIED!
Rebecca Simon -- I agree on both counts! :)
Jess A -- you are absolutely adorable. Your comment made me grin exceedingly widely.