Strength in Vulnerability

A couple of weeks ago, my mother took a pretty bad fall down a flight of stairs. Miraculously, she walked away from the accident without any broken bones, except for a small fracture in her foot. While she did have a lot of bruising and some intimidating-looking hematomas, it could have been so much worse. We, as a family, thank God every day for her strength.

The toughest part of the experience for Mom is needing to rely on others for help. She is fiercely independent and pretty damn stubborn (Sorry, Mama!) It’s incredibly difficult for her to feel like she, in her words, “is putting anyone out.” vulnerability-1

No matter how much we remind her how blessed we are to have such a large and loving family who rally around each other, she thinks that the rallying should never be for her.

I, like my mother, am not fond of relying on anyone. Why risk being disappointed? Better to just do it yourself, right? But, as I watch her struggle with needing others, I can see how incredibly courageous vulnerability is — not easy to see when it’s yourself.

I wonder if she sees that; that her asking for — and receiving — help when it’s really uncomfortable to do so, is pretty brave, and that even when she is feeling down and out, that she is still inspiring me.

Maybe she can inspire you, too. Where could you practice intentional vulnerability?

I’d love it if you’d join the conversation in the comments below.

Until next week, keep taking those small steps to Live Out Loud.

6 replies
  1. Jan
    Jan says:

    What a great lesson we are all learning from your Mother, Kerri. Allowing others to do for us as Mothers just plain goes against our Motherly training. Even listening to our children’s advice is usually cast off at once. It is about letting go of control, accepting the reality of this situation as well as being grateful for family and Facebook friends who love your family.

    Reply
    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      Exactly, Jan! Mom had quite a hard time accepting help from her children, feeling like she’s the Mom and shouldn’t need help from us. What Moms don’t understand is that, for a lot of us kids, it’s a joy to be able to give back. Do us a favor and receive the gift! 🙂

      Reply
  2. Judy Van Fossan
    Judy Van Fossan says:

    Just to be vulnerable is bad enough but drawing attention to it by asking for help is very difficult. I can’t imagine the disappointment if the request is ignored.

    Reply
    • Kerri
      Kerri says:

      I totally get that, Judy. I, too, am not great at asking for help because I don’t want to be disappointed. It’s worth looking at what comes up for you in the face of disappointment. What do you make it mean if someone isn’t available to help you when you ask? Do you interpret it as they don’t care about/like/love you? Could it simply be that they’re not available? We can make up lots of stories in our heads which then stop us from ever asking for help. I now try to practice asking for help, and if I don’t get it, I sit with the discomfort and remind Little Kerri that I love her unconditionally!

      Reply
  3. DAD
    DAD says:

    Very nice Kerri MA is still healing but more active We went shopping today and she was very tired
    I guess it takes a long time to regain strength Thanks for your comments
    LOVE DAD

    Reply

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