Today, while running errands in town I decided to save some time by visiting a car wash close by that was named "Dazzle." Since I was way on the other side of town that I do not visit often, I had not patronized the place before, and assumed it was just one of the speedy drive-through automatic washes.
Soon, though, a crew of guys were ready to welcome me into the tunnel, sprayers and washcloths in hand. One employee grinned at me as I tried desperately to help by steering my car into the garage and then putting on the brakes. Apparently this is not how Dazzle works. He turned his wet hand, mist around him in the cool breeze, and pointed to a bold sign decorating the entrance to the wash:
Put your car in neutral.
Do NOT brake.
Hands off the steering wheel!
I let go. I let the young men do their tasks, closely watching my mind and thoughts as I struggled to feel okay with being guided through the tunnel. I recognized how hard that was to just be vulnerable not only locked in my car, but emotionally vulnerable too.
Life, it seems, puts us out on a limb sometimes (or in a tunnel), to remind us that we are NOT always in control. I have encountered this numerous times in my life, but two mainly stand out: when I was giving birth to my three children, and when I just recently was bedside of a dear family friend during his passing.
Childbirth to me was the epitome of being at the mercy of whatever God, the doctor, or my body had in store for me. Each birth echoed similar fears and unknowns, even though each experience was unique. But when I made the choice to let go, to be emotionally open, the joy that was let in and the support that I felt from those around me was uplifting!
On the other end of life, last week I sat next to a dear family friend. The entire family sat at bedside as he struggled three days to release his body. Pastors came in, encouraging family members to not let things go unsaid, to say goodbye. In a sense….. to be vulnerable. Being emotionally vulnerable allowed for the family and all of us friends to be broken open, and to let others help us embrace our grief and sorrow and give comfort.
Vulnerability gets a bad name in our society. Yet, I have noticed in my own experience that it is the times in my life that I am vulnerable that result in the greatest joy, peace, love and harmony. After all, being VUNERABLE gives all of us the ABILITY to Dazzle. So go ahead, let go of that steering wheel every once in a while. You just may be surprised where your life will take you.
by Jen Slayden