The Effect of Vulnerablity: A Tribute to How the People In My Life Have Changed Me

Hello. Today I want to pay tribute to those people in my life who have made an impact. I have some incredibly incredibly beautiful souls that I owe part of who I am too.

Celebrating life is important to me and including my loved ones and friends in that just seems to go hand in hand. I celebrated this past Valentine’s day by making cherry pie and sharing it with my friends. These pictures are from then. I pray that you are filled with thankfulness for the beautiful people in your life and are moved to celebrate.

I’m sure that you can relate. My hope today, is that as I share, it ignites in you an incredible thanksgiving and enlightenment of some of the souls who have influenced your own life. And To help you inspect some of your life’s richness.

I cannot take responsibility for the astounding souls that God has placed in my life and along my path, however I owe so many things to them. I will not be able to cover the multitude of influence I have experienced in my lifetime, and am sad, even starting, that I may leave some precious ones out. To my dear friends who are reading, every single one of you have made an incredible impact on my life and have added more richness and beauty than I could’ve every asked for. I love you dearly. And thank-you.

If your browser allows listen to this song as you read. If not, enjoy it later. I was listening to it as I wrote. 

Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born.
— Anaïs Nin, The Diary of Anaïs Nin, Vol. 1: 1931-1934

My Tribute

Thank-you to the woman whom I looked up to who broke down in front of me and some others when the guy she had fallen in love with, and was leading her on, didn’t reciprocate the feelings. Whose emotions seemed irrational to me for someone like her. They were messy and full of emotion. Thank-you for letting me see that and allowing me access into the most honest part of what you were experiencing. Up until then no one had ever done that with me. If I wouldn’t have seen that, the amazing process of recovery you experienced and the way you grew and were strengthened would have continued to paint the unrealistic picture to me of what life is supposed to feel like; perfect and unrealistic. You showed me that vulnerability is the only “real” way to live. And I wouldn’t have it any other way now. You changed me.

Thank-you to the ones who had different views on life than me, but accepted me and mine and were confident and vulnerable enough to talk with me about why they believed what they did. Who explained to me the reasons behind what they do and didn’t feel the need to persuade me but only understand. Who confirmed for me that the human soul shares more common bonds than any belief does. And that being able to connect is a truly beautiful thing.

Thank-you to my mother who allowed me to be who I was, always. Who took me to church where I found the truest love of my life. Who was vulnerable and light hearted with me, who was honest and truly wanted the best for me. Who never told me who I should be but gave me opportunities to become. You are the beauty and comfort inside of me.

Thank-you to my dad for showing me that a man can be a woman’s best friend. That a man can be incredibly strong and capable and completely honest and vulnerable at the same time. Thank-you for always offering sound advice and also comfort and support when needed. For telling me when I’m being treated wrongly. For being a backbone. Thank-you Dad for showing me that family can be completely and utterly safe. In who’s company I’ve never questioned my worth or standing. Ever. Thank-you. You’ve truly shown me what home is.

Thank-you to the women who didn’t think like me but were willing to be a friend to me. Who spent years with me and grew with me trying to understand me and allowing me to understand them. Who were willing to have disagreements with me and still keep at it. Who showed me that people are different, even those with the same beliefs, but can still love each other. Who I’m so grateful to for shattering my tiny worldview. I would’ve known only half of the world; afraid of them; unable to relate; if it weren’t for your patience and love challenging my “protective” barrier.

Thank-you to the ones who threatened my frail sensitivity, in which I would have naturally shied away from and decided were harsh. But who acknowledged my intellect and ability and allowed me to overcome my “inferiority complex.” Thank-you for showing me that much of how I judge others is based on my own insecurities. That we are made differently but we can learn to understand, communicate with, and value one another. You helped me to know that my temperament is a strength and I'm the first person that needs to value it.

Thank-you to those who have let me sob in their laps and who still saw me as the woman they respected. In who’s presence I felt safe to tell my deepest, darkest secrets and in which I found the deepest healing. You taught me that I don’t have to be alone, and that I shouldn’t be.

Thank-you to those steadfast friends who have known me through so many seasons, watched me change and have grown with me. Who have experienced my worst, know my faults and forgive me. Who fight for me and who I am able to be, but love me where I’m at. You are humility and long-suffering and that is the very core of friendship and love. Thank-you. You have shown me how to live this imperfect life.

Thank-you children, for showing me that the heart never changes, but only adds protective barriers. For being forgiving and loving in the most pure way. You are my greatest teacher.

I think if I’ve learned anything about friendship, it’s to hang in, stay connected, fight for them, and let them fight for you. Don’t walk away, don’t be distracted, don’t be too busy or tired, don’t take them for granted. Friends are part of the glue that holds life and faith together. Powerful stuff.
— Jon Katz

There are so so many more, but as I write, I am realizing that vulnerability plays such a large part in experiencing life and allowing others to effect and change us. It has truly been one of the most important lessons in my adult life. I hope that you have and will experience the pure beauty of it and have people in your life who will show you the same.

If any of these things have brought up a pain in your heart, I pray now that your soul would be comforted. That friendship and love would be close to you and you would know that there is a heavenly Father who looks out for you and loves you more than you can imagine. He has been my greatest friend when it seemed like I had no friends.

All my love,

Love Shyla