Vulnerability

What feelings or thoughts does the word vulnerability stir up in you? For some maybe it doesn’t do anything because it’s something they wouldn’t even consider doing or ever necessary. For some the idea of vulnerability causes such a negative response. For others it’s something they’ve done before and been stung by. Perhaps more wish they could be more vulnerable but can’t bring themselves to do it.

For me vulnerability has become a necessity. Vulnerability has often been the start of friendships and relationships. It’s been the start of growth or changing of a path. It’s opened discussions, freed me from thoughts and actually often helped me to realise I am not alone.

When I started my weight loss journey properly back in March 2016 I was looking for inspirtational quotes to fuel my way. I found one that has always been in the back of my mind since but has become very real recently.

The quote read: aim to inspire, not to impress.

The defintions of those two words are very interesting to me

Inspire: fill (someone) with the urge or ability to do or feel something
Impress: make (someone) feel admiration and respect

I love that to inspire is to help someone feel a hope for themselves instead of impress which causes someone to feel something for you. Who doesn’t want to be a person who helps someone to be something they desire to be by inspiring them?!

Recently I’ve had a number of people tell me that they have been inspired me or spurred on by me to make changes or decisions. What an honour. What an honour for God to use something that I am doing anyway to inspire people.

As i spent time with God this week I felt God say to me ‘you can’t effectively inspire without vulnerability and getting onto someones level’.

Vulnerability makes change seem possible not unattainable. It shows that it can be hard to make the changes but that it’s doable. Without the vulnerability you can inspire a desire to change; “I wish i could do that” but you probably won’t inspire a belief that it is doable.

Vulnerability and relationships are so important to grow and change and to be real. They are beneficial to the individual and the people around them. It creates the opportunity for community and support systems. It can remove loneliness and fear of being ‘different’.

Vulnerability is to take a risk that the person or people that you are sharing with will respect you. It’s not something to be done without consideration but in the right circumstances it can create and inspire beautiful friendships and wonderful communities.

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Like learning to ride a bike

Have you ever tried to teach someone to ride a bike? I hadn’t really until today.

We got our three year old a bike with stabilisers for giving up his dummy and so we now start the process of learning how to do it. He happily asks to have the bike out from the garage, puts on the helmet, climbs on the bike and then he just sits on with his feet on the pedals going nowhere fast, or at all to be honest!!

I tried to help. It wasn’t pretty. It was the end of a long day with the kids and my patience was low, maybe bike riding should not be a post 6pm activity! Anyway he would put his feet on the pedal and push one foot down and start to move which sounds and looks promising. He would then take his foot off the pedal that he next needed to push to keep moving. He would lose the flow and he would have to start again.

It did not matter how many times I would tell him that he needed to keep his feet on the pedal, he would still keep taking that foot off and that lead to me getting more and more frustrated with him, losing my patience, raising my voice slightly, all the usual ugly moments you wish you could go back and change.

After a little while of attempting this and repeating the phrase you need to keep your foot on the pedal to no avail, my lovely husband came outside and I exclaimed “I just need to go inside for a few moments!”

As I sat down exacerbated by really quite a short exchange I just felt God say “that’s what you do”. And as I thought about it I realised it is in so many situations. I request to do something, get all kitted out for it, get lined up to start, take a small motion towards it and then I take my foot off the pedal and God’s somewhere in the background shouting “STOP TAKING YOUR FOOT OFF THE FLIPPING PEDAL” – to be fair He probably isn’t shouting that but in my head that’s what I think he is shouting.

It’s so easy to lose momentum. Something gets hard. Something is boring. Something is frustrating, The weather changes. You get injured. People distract you. Life gets in the way. Another ‘thing’ needs our attention and it seems more important. Priorities get confused.

The thing is that I am sure that there are things in everyone’s life where we keep coming back to that very same issue, and keep making a start and then taking our feet off the pedal without even really meaning to sometimes. If you keep going round in the circle to the same situation chances are you keep starting and then stopping.

I can think of a few things where I do this but weight loss is the most obvious. It’s easily been 10 years of starting and stopping. Getting distracted, giving up, life causing issues, children. I’ve all the excuses in the world and many of them are justified but for me weight is an issue. It’s something that need to be dealt with. It’s a physical, emotional and spiritual area of my life which needs me discipline, attention and effort. I need to keep my foot on the pedal.
I’m doing better with this. I’ve got further than ever before but my mojo has disappeared a little. My discipline is lacking. My focus fuzz. My attraction to chocolate stronger. I need to spend time getting back that self control and discipline so that God doesn’t have to keep shouting to me about my feet on the pedals! I can’t do it alone but I’m so blessed to have friends and family who have my back and maybe I need to start by asking for help!

Keep your feet on the pedals because you never know just what you might achieve if you stop pulling it off at the most important moment. Just imagine the progress and then maybe gaffa tape your feet onto the pedal which I will confess was what I was tempted to do with the three year old!