The Power of Vulnerability (#852)
Following up on last week's conversation about The Divisiveness of Compassion, Kyle and Wayne interact with some of their listeners about the power of vulnerability. It can open doors to deep conversation and healing and it can also be misused to crush someone's heart. Be vulnerable with those who have demonstrated they will be a safe space for you and learn to recognize the characteristics of those who will use your vulnerability to control or manipulate you. The world needs more people who can incubate a place in their hearts that is safe for others to share their stories with us. Also, they talk a bit about the vulnerability before God that allows his will to unfold around us, meandering inside the chaos of brokenness rather than drawing a straight line to what we think is best.
The Jake Colsen Book Club will be held Saturday, July 2 at 1:00 pm PDT. You'll have to work that out in your own time zone. We will be covering Chapter 3 on Christian education. The link will be available next week. Watch for the announcement on Wayne's blog at Lifestream.org.
Your Trauma Is Valid
Identifying Toxic People
Great podcast you two. I really like the starting with the thought for the week that struck you. And the emails that were read were excellent. This week I received a list of “toxic positivity”. As a personality type who leans towards keeping things on the sunny side of life it was a good eye opener for me. I’ve read the list of “identifying toxic people” before and have over the years heard the complaints about boundaries. While all these things have their value they were never meant to be used as a methods. Living by methods (biblical principles) are mostly ego based and create distance from our hearts. Wayne’s old old story about learning how to fly is a great analogy. There’s ground school and then there’s school in the air of actually flying an airplane.
If someone thinks they’ve never done any of those things in the “toxic list” they are fooling themselves.(1 John 8-10}. So I think we need to be very careful with these lists. Sometimes,like Rebecca’s sister, can be about the difference in perception based on personality. Or people who have been living mostly out of their trauma are especially vulnerable to being misunderstood and unable to speak their truth. A friend of mine who’s been doing some hard personal work and reflection, loves God, was shocked when she asked her family “how often in a week do you all say don’t tell mom” and was told at least once a week. She thought of herself as a very safe person only to find out wow not so much. If we walk around believing that we never hurt others feelings we are fooling ourselves. It’s not possible and is not what is being asked of us in living loved. The Jesus journey is humbling and invitational into death to find Real Life. No one is running to that party. Hence the road is narrow and steep and scary sometimes.
The longer I live this journey inside Fathers’ affection for me the safer I am becoming as a person. I find myself being more open and quicker to make relational repairs, even with people who are challenging. I maybe rebuffed in my effort to repair. In that moment I get to lean in really close to the Holy Spirit and discover a response as opposed to being reactive. And Papa just keeps growing me up and up….because He Loves Me.
Good words, Joni. I agree that lists can be used for nefarious purposes, but I know many people who just keep trying to love toxic personalities to their own abuse. Only Jesus can show us in each circumstance his way of responding. I like what you said about relational repairs. I think we always do what we can from our side, but sometimes the repair waits on their side. Having done all we know to do, the only thing left is to keep loving, wait for movement that opens a door, and be ready to go down it when it does. I love how you balance all of this, with love being responsive not reactive.
I’ve had to make the difficult decision to ‘lean out’ of a couple of relationships where lies are being told in an attempt to protect feelings. I’m generally not one for confrontation, but in this case I think it would only make it worse. Part of me thinks it is the easy way out, but the ‘uneasy’ pain and hurt I am feeling from this decision, as I attribute to part of the grieving process, seems to validate my decision. And it leaves the door open for reconciliation, if that were to happen.
What I’ve learned about boundaries is that, you can’t set them, and take care of the other people around you as well. Taking care of myself, not living by others’ standards or expectations of me, especially when I am unable to achieve them, has been a process that has not come without human cost, including the loss of opportunities, and relationships. But somehow the peace that surpasses all human understanding, I find a frequent companion on this journey, regardless of my outward circumstances.
I love what you say here Joni…worth repeating again…
‘If we walk around believing that we never hurt others feelings we are fooling ourselves. It’s not possible and is not what is being asked of us in living loved. The Jesus journey is humbling and invitational into death to find Real Life. No one is running to that party. Hence the road is narrow and steep and scary sometimes.’
Had I known what I would encounter on this Jesus journey when I started, on a pink cloud of grace, which I assume is a starting point on many a journey. God knew what I needed then, and knows what I need now. I don’t regret the journey in the least.
Wow… Her comment on trauma is profoundly simple. When you think about it, the comparison model (to Ukraine), in regards to trauma, minimizes the pain and the person who experienced it. I can see how the excess and extreme may be purveyed, but those who are “always the victim” seeking attention seem to ignore everyone’s else’s while fabricating or enhancing their claims where necessary…and for clicks. One has to appreciate the genuine heart and protect those who express it where possible; those hearts are not seeking self glory or personal gain…they just what healing.
Not long ago I watched this video explaining meandering streams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8a3r-cG8Wic It’s interesting and translatable to things which happen in our lives, change, troubles, etc. being the debris which forces change and regulates the speed with which we navigate life. Anyway…I loved the comment on meandering and it resonates so much with where I am in life. In Christ, out of each of us flows the water of everlasting life; institutional religion promises straight paths to their empty promises. Everyone knows free range eggs are better tasting, right?