Thursday, June 14, 2012

Having a good time; the awkwardness is beginning to wear off. The theme for this conference was grace, a concept that I had trouble with because the word is so steeped in the Christian theology I was raised in. As it turns out, the theme is also relating to vulnerability, listening deeply and truly to others, and how the shame and pain that each of us as individuals, feel is unique to us is actually experienced by everyone. Our reluctance to share our struggles is what leaves us feeling isolated, continuing to feel shame, still feeling as though our pain sets us apart. How odd that a theme which I thought might be a bit boring strikes so close to home. They are saying that being vulnerable is good, that we need to be vulnerable.

So, we've been spending time talking about how to allow other people the space to be vulnerable, how to make the space safe, comfortable and welcoming enough for that to happen.

OK, wait....I say that I've never felt truly safe before...that isn't entirely true, is it? After all, there's that guy that I call when I'm at the end of the rope, the one who always manages to talk me back from the edge, or rather, to listen me back from the edge. I haven't fallen in love with him, nor with any of the many very kind, very safe and thoughtful Quakers, of either gender. Clearly there is more to this than having felt safe, although I'll concede that this was definitely a prerequisite.

Does it really matter why? Unless I'm trying to defend the way I feel, which I'm tired of, why is kind of irrelevant.

Maybe it's just that you're inherently lovable, that your blend of characteristics combined with having earned my trust and respect, with feeling understood, was the mix that was is just right.

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