Vulnerability is at once the safest and most dangerous of places. A revealing of interiors into the trust of some external presence can be cradling or a perilous fall.

I find myself adept at maneuvering just on the cusp; able to share without necessarily revealing everything. Maybe because so few people are looking for those tender places where there is uncertainty or hurt or fear. Conversations often journey along more traveled roads, the stories we tell so often because they are familiar pieces of ourselves…my car accident in Mozambique, hurricane Katrina, a military brat’s life.

I tell them because they are true. I tell them because they are telling. i tell them because they are safe. Safe not because they aren’t intimate or because they do not speak to who I am…but safe because they are the parts of me I’ve already reconciled. The parts that if not reconciled, I have made peace within the confusion they bring.

But there are other truths. The ones that I am less certain of. The pieces that I am still piecing together and am not quite sure what picture they make. My closest friends know those pieces. They struggle with me to make sense of them, and where there is no sense they love me just the same.

I am vulnerable before them and they cradle me in love. And it is that cradling that I crave. The idea of being bare before someone and trusting that love remains. Family and friends and lovers learn those pieces and keep me bundled against uncertainty.

But last week I found myself in the midst of a conversation that left me feeling revealed to new eyes. Not in my entirety but the falling away of some shielding – some curtain that prevents prying eyes from seeing in. and for a moment, in the most unexpected way, I showed an aspect of myself that is telling of the heart of me.

And I’m not sure he noticed… and that is almost worse.

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