Remember how easy it was to run to Mommy when you were hurt or in pain? Needing was natural then.
“Admitting the problem is half of the healing.”
I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Why is it so hard for us to do? Especially if we know how much it helps us?
I think, because we have all been hurt, we are in self-protective mode. We try to shunt responsibility elsewhere. For instance, I always think all the dirt in my house comes from my husband. I don’t even question it! Well, lately I had a humorous and painful thought. When he dies, I might be surprised at how much dirt is still here–and then I’ll have to admit that it’s me.
When you admit responsibility you have to do something. You have to look at yourself–admit you fail, admit you aren’t perfect, admit you are vulnerable.
Or, you get to do something! People who can’t admit they are wrong strain the relationships they are in, putting pressure on the people around them–the ones closest, including yourself.
We think admitting fault or weakness makes us less. Makes us look bad. Or this one–makes us vulnerable. We don’t like to feel vulnerable –it scares us. We think we have to protect ourselves. What a silly notion. As if we really could! Most of our attempts make things worse–including us. It hardens our response ability into defensiveness (fear), instead of the free-flow of creative thought where solutions or new ideas come from. Defensiveness keeps us from growing. It makes those around us uncomfortable, and sometimes feel hopeless.
Welcoming a new perspective helps. Brene Brown has researched vulnerability for years and has found it to be the most healthy attitude a person can have: knowing that you aren’t perfect, can make mistakes, and admit it.
Today I am so proud of my daughter for admitting she has post-partum depression! She has already started to feel better three days later! Yes, it can respond that fast. (And for any of you who are fighting depression, research has shown that 1000-4000 mg. of Omega 3/daily, and half as much of 6 and 9, is more effective than anti-depressants, as is exercise, and sunlight, or vitamin D if you have no sun, and in her case iron because of blood loss from birthing).
We knew she was suffering from sleep deprivation, and I noticed she looked like she did when she was depressed after her last son, but she wasn’t into the vulnerable place of being helped yet then. Her main coping mechanism has been to do it herself, take care of everything, be perfect.
In fact she confronted me on being judgmental about her technology. That wasn’t how I saw it, but man, did it hurt. There was just enough truth and just enough misunderstanding to really make it sting.
I didn’t know what to say, but when it hurts that bad, you have two choices: go into defensive mode or pray. So I breathed, and said to God, I don’t even know what to say. We were with her husband and mine, and someone said something, and I heard myself saying, “I just know that looking at yourself is really hard. It’s so painful that you can barely see yourself with any clarity.”
That broke the tension and everyone became more vulnerable. Everyone started sharing, and we even ended up praying together. It ended up making our last day much better.
A real big-picture perspective would show us how futile are our attempts at self-protection. With what we are up against–living in the war zone between good and evil–we regularly get slammed with discouragement and pain, and what fun the dark side has with our pretending to be good and right. They help us make big messes with denial and self-protection.
How much better to let God protect us, so we are free to be real: broken and vulnerable, not hiding, not defensive. Able to hurt, to need help, to be wrong–to be vulnerable. Vulnerability is good, healthy even.