A spectrum of vulnerability.


“It is not our toughness that keeps us warm at night, but our tenderness which makes others want to keep us warm.” ~ Harold Lyon

I have never really been good at asking directly for help.  In many ways it always felt like I was somehow in turn admitting I was weak.  Even now, I struggle.  I am sure part of this stems from my need to be good at things. To feel like I have things under control. To feel like I could control the outcomes if I did x, y, or z. By nature,  I am positive. An optimist. I am a doer. I solve problems.  I don’t focus on what’s wrong as much as how to fix it.

Professionally, I have always been good at this problem-solving and having it together, personally, I have lived by the same rules. If I was having a hard time, I never wanted to stop to feel sorry for myself, believing that focusing on the solution was a much better use of my time.  Asking for help in my own book, and only as it applied to me, meant I was becoming a victim of my circumstances.  Until I realized that not being vulnerable and asking for help was in some ways its own form of weakness…to not admit that I can’t do it all with a smile and positive attitude.

The circumstances around having Q and E submerged me into this world of lack of control. E’s delays and the persistent unknowns reinforced that sometimes no matter what you do, there is no easy solution. A crystal clear path or outcome.  My solution was to own what I could do. How I, and we, could all rise up to meet the challenges.  Just when I thought things were “under some form of control” I found out I was pregnant.

This part of the journey more than the mile markers before it have taught me new levels of vulnerability.  Acknowledging my own limits, as well as other people putting limits on me.  Fear of  the past repeating itself driving me to ask for help. To admit I can’t do everything forcing me out of my comfort zone of my perceptions of control.

I am now 31 weeks pregnant and live each day with a combination of gratitude and relief.  My Dr.’s voice rings through my head daily to “behave.” To take it easy, to not overdue it. To get help  By his orders I asked for some much-needed help to keep E and Q’s rigorous schedule while protecting baby M still growing in my belly.   In many ways it felt like I was laying all my cards on the table in a high-stakes game of poker and in others it felt like I was shedding a giant boulder that I had been lugging around.

In my vulnerable state, gratefully my dad and Mother-in-Law were both able and willing to alternate weeks to come help me keep the frenzy of our lives going for the next month.  As my body grows more and more tired and uncoordinated, my mind is forced to admit even more that I am not able to do what I could do before and that I cannot compromise on any level the potential safety of Baby M and ultimately our family unit as we know it.  I now have to say no to things. To say I can’t.  To say I am not able.  To say I am too tired. All things that are not part of my make-up; yet, in some ways have given me new strength.  Permission to be ok to take care of myself.

I hope to remember this as a lesson going forward once Baby M arrives. To remember that vulnerability brings new warmth and strength of a different kind.  That vulnerability beyond my written word  shielded by a computer screen and through practice in my own life is a new milestone on this journey.  Opening new doors and new pathways of possibility for being going forward.  New ways to make each day ‘anewfavoriteday.’  I wish you all tenderness and vulnerability that will give you a new way  to see each day as ‘anewfavoriteday.’

7 thoughts on “A spectrum of vulnerability.

  1. Oh, my word, how I love this! I’ve spent most of my life engaged in this struggle, but it’s gotten somewhat easier the last year or two. One particular sentence you wrote hits on the whys of both before and after: Until I realized that not being vulnerable and asking for help was in some ways its own form of weakness…to not admit that I can’t do it all with a smile and positive attitude.

    Since I didn’t say it before, congratulations! May the next several weeks be full of the strength (and goodness) in accepting lovingly offered help. ♥

  2. I, too, struggle with allowing myself to be vulnerable. Most of the time I feel I don’t have the ability to allow myself that luxury, and a lot of the time, I’m correct. But, with every challenge comes the opportunity to guage just how much I can take and when to reach out for any help I can find. Since Maycee’s anxiety diagnosis 4 months ago, I’ve had to whittle my life down to the essentials: parenting, work, and for leisure, our horse riding. Everything else got a bit screen cut, and I made it well known that my services at church and keeping family and friends updated on our status had to take a back seat to my day-to-day existence. It’s been freeing, actually, and many weights have been lifted as I narrow my focus to what is absolutely important to me and what is not. Gosh, I wish you all the best as you count down the days, Shannon! Much love, hugs, and serenity to you and your family with this wonderful new addition coming soon! XOXO-SWM

    1. You always get it:) I know it has to be tough with miss Maycee and her diagnosis but also glad you are finding the strength and comfort in going down to the basics of what works for you both as you find your way through. I am wishing you lots of love and serenity too…xoxo

  3. Oh Shannon, you are truly incredible! I love following your journey. I remember feeling exactly this way, and finally coming to learn and know that to be vulnerable is actually to be at my greatest strength. A lesson I still struggle with repeatedly. Many blessings to you and your little ones! XO

  4. Hi, Shannon, I know you are taking care of babies, but I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. When/if you have time you can pick up the award at my last post, “Inspiring Minds Want to Know”. Hope you are well, and lots of hugs!!!! XOXO-Kasey

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