My Dance With Her
A word I once equated with weakness and deemed foul. Whenever she came knocking at my door I would drive her away with a fierceness fueled by fear but dressed up and called strength. Shooting flaming arrows at her from the top of my walls- walls so thick and so high, even I, unaware of the mysteries they kept.
Yet she was persistent. Vulnerability making a case for herself in many forms throughout my life. Through family and friends, trails and blessing, all the while whispering “you need me”. She had overheard my prayers to the King of Kings. Dreams of children, of family, of love and community. “You need me”, she says, “let me help you”.
Unyielding, not willing to bend I stood firm in my belief that through strength alone is how you win. Protect yourself at all cost and you won’t hurt again. But she knew how much I wanted my prayers answered, and you’re never given what you can’t sustain. She saw my compartmentalized affections and the shiny pieces of a fragmented woman. Like broken glass. Beautiful in its own way as it’s still able to sparkle, but being unwhole, unable to fulfill its intended purpose. So she blew her horn and my walls felt flat.
A second Jericho, but the sweetest of surrenders.
With the door open, now I sit and I wait. Taking in whatever she brings. Kissing her cheeks as a greeting of welcome. No longer overwhelmed by the waves that come to wash me clean, never fearing that they’ll wash me away. Laying myself out completely bare. I look up and I thank God. Surrender is the part the requires real strength.
If you asked me what I was most afraid of. What keeps me up some nights and invades my thoughts most days? It wouldn’t be matters of finance or the fear of letting go. I have this visceral need to connect with people, and after years of pushing vulnerability and all that it brings away, I often wonder if I have the ability to do so. To do so with every part of me. Without reservation and without fear.
Allowing people to see the parts of me I felt were allowed to be shown once grieved me. Over the years I’ve become much more comfortable and now wear vulnerability as a badge of honor, encouraging others to surrender as well. However, it’s been a purely solo journey thus far, and it’s been hard. Now I sit with this thought. What will happen when love finds me in human form? What will happen when I find the one I am supposed to be most vulnerable with? Will I know how to be open and love them in the way that they need? Will I always yearn to connect underneath, unable to express the sentiment of my love in its purest form? Or worse, what will happen if I fall in love with someone just like me?
-Chantel M. Rivera @chanty_m