Truth can be shared with anybody, and honesty is good. Most of philosophy involves pondering if Truth is an objective value, or subjective. People tell THE truth and that is called honesty. But when people share THEIR truth, expressing their innermost, private truths, well, that is vulnerability.
While telling the truth can lead to trouble, typically the truth is factual, and so any attacks made on the truth teller will be about the facts. But when a person is vulnerable and shares their truth, any attack on the truths shared are aimed directly at the person, for who they are.
Vulnerability is important to building relationships because, while we get to know each other in many ways, sharing the deepest part of us is best shared with folks we trust. That trust-building through being vulnerable is tricky, because it leaves us open to risk and hurt. This is why vulnerability is a strength, not a weakness; it takes great courage to risk being rejected or laughed at or not believed or supported because we dared to share what our own truth is.
Religious communities, at best, are places to be vulnerable, to take risks. It is a deep honor to deeply know another person and what is in their hearts. Being vulnerable, thoughtfully sharing truths that will be held carefully and solemnly by others, is how we build Beloved Community. Obviously, other means help as well, like laughing together or engaging in common work, but our truths make us who we are. While we should be honest with everyone, we can choose when to be vulnerable and with whom.
This month I encourage all of us to look inside. Decide how vulnerable you feel like being in any given moment, and then check your courage level and see if maybe you might have a little more. Share your truths and be known. Take the risk, or be the support for another person who is clearly trying out their vulnerability levels. We are all in this together, and love is always worth the risk.
In peace with love,