Vulnerability: the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
June is a vulnerable month for me. Partly because I end up in reflection mode, contemplating the year so far. But also, because this month seems to hold a lot of significant moments for me, good and bad. I used to dread the month of June, but now I’m learning to embrace it.
To be frank, vulnerability has long been an enemy of mine. Being honest about my circumstances or emotions felt too dangerous to allow anyone to see. Now, throw a month of life into the mix where most hard things exist… you can imagine how closed off I might become.
When a month holds the memories of grief from my grandfather’s passing, significant hurts from friends and a family member I no longer speak to, the loss of a dear friend just a year ago, and the diagnosis of another round of cancer for someone close this year, how do you hold the weight? How do you continue to show up for others?
I’ll admit I’ve found myself considering, more times than I can count, what life would be like if I just didn’t love anymore. Loving seems to be the problem. If you don’t love, you don’t care, and perhaps you won’t get hurt. But life without love isn’t living.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity.” -Brené Brown
It’s no coincidence that June is also the month UnbridledACTS celebrates the program of Love Hard and the life of Cash Kamins, who passed at only two-years-old five years ago. This story only seems to bring hurt if you let it. Yet, while there’s a place for the hurt, the Kamins Family and the message of Love Hard remind us to make the most of every moment by loving hard those around you.
“If the people we love are stolen from us, the way to have them live on is to never stop loving them.” -James O’Ba
The poets from the romantic period lived by the idea that powerful feelings, especially love, keep things alive. I don’t think they’re too far off. My love for those I’ve lost keep their memory alive. People who never would have known my grandfather, know of him because I share about him. In the moments I want most to be alone in all my grief, vulnerability has given me community.
Love Hard is truly a call to continue being human, that is, to continue being vulnerable. It is thanks to people like the Kamins Family that we know how vibrant life can be, even if cut short, when we love and are loved.
So, I’m not so intimidated by vulnerability now, and June is becoming one of my favorite months. Embracing and sharing the hurts is freeing me to spend my time remembering the good and sitting in the hard with others.
I pray that your summer and the rest of the year is filled with humanity and deep connection. That vulnerability would mark us all as those who love others to life and, in turn, experience life in its most abundant form.