“Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability and authenticity.” Brené Brown
Taking in Brown’s quote on vulnerability this month my mind turned to a story. Do you remember hearing the story of The Mish Mashed Heart? In the story, a young child, Milly, works diligently at an all church craft event. Everyone there was encouraged to design a heart with the materials before them. So Milly sets out to create her most perfect heart. When she was done with it, Milly’s heart even had glitter in the shape of diamonds all around the outside.
As Mily was helping clean up she noticed an elder sitting at a nearby table. This elder’s heart was all mish-mashed. It looked a mess, there were colors that didn’t go together and parts that were wrinkled and the glue was just all over the place – there even was a little hole in the heart!
Thinking something was wrong, Mily went over and asked her elder if she could help fix this heart. The elder smiled, thanked Mily but explained that there was nothing wrong with his heart. It merely revealed all the things that happened to him in his life so far. He pointed out all the beautiful parts and shared what he recalled. Mily wasn’t satisfied with this – “But what about all the rips and wrinkles?” Well those were from the times that his heart broke and also the times that he met important people to him. “In fact, every time a person comes into my life that I care about,” he explained, “they take a piece of my heart with them”
This all felt very scarry to Mily – “But what happens if you give it all away?” she asked. “You’ll be left with nothing.”
“Ah, but you see, no I won’t,” the elder replied. “Because you see, sometimes they give me a piece of theirs as well.”
And in that moment Mily, held her beautiful, perfect heart with the glitter and designs she worked so hard to make. She looked over at the elder’s mish-mashed one with all the wrinkles and jagged colors and rips. In that moment Mily chose to rip a piece of her perfect heart and then handed it to the elder.
“Thank you,” the elder said as he placed it with his mish-mashed heart and tore off a piece of his to hand to Mily.
We have unique opportunities at church this spring to choose vulnerability. To choose to break our own hearts open. Where will you choose to do so? Where have you chosen to do so? Has it been in OWL? Did you feel a bit vulnerable choosing to try out UUBerks in the first place?
Maybe you might choose to attend one of our Family taking flight sessions in March? Or possibly you will take a risk and sign up for our new Mystery Pals Program starting this April. We’re looking forward to sharing more about Mystery Pals soon.
Can’t wait to see what you choose and witness what our collective heart will become this March as we focus on what it means to travel the path of Vulnerability!
With Faith and in Community,