Quality family life is a core value that my husband, my in-laws, my sons and I all share, which is great because we all share the same living space. This is one way I think we are social pioneers, instead of moving farther away from family, we decided to move from the Pacific Northwest to the middle of the Pacific; we moved in together. To share resources, to share challenges, to divide struggles and multiply joys. To get real, raw, and vulnerable in the space between. It is a spiritual practice that we tend to on a daily basis.
One clear example of quality family life is that we eat dinner together, do chores together, and don’t have media or devices at the meal table.
Light, Bright, and Polite
Recently my husband and I attended a “social media safety” workshop at my older son’s middle school. The concerned parents in the crowd held their collective breath with the dangers lurking in the www. We were taught to teach our kids to be Light, Bright, and Polite in their social media postings.
I often wonder how much media messes with all of us. It is rewiring our brain. I am eager to learn how to use social media to be a force for good. Does that mean we must be light, bright, and polite at all times (and all costs?) There is a place for it, certainly. And I am not advocating for emotional nudity.
Our 13 year still does not have a cell phone or fb account. I want him to feel alive, connected, and aware of all of life’s opportunities, not just the virtual ones that are “light, bright, and polite.” Presently, he finds this connection in face to face connections.
Real, Raw, and Vulnerable
By being real, raw, and vulnerable in the space between I am creating safety and integrity, which I genuinely value over being light, bright, and polite. How to integrate the positive lessons in each approach is a worthy exploration.
Real. I tell the truth.
Because I lack a poker face, I communicate widely (and wildly) through my gestures, facial expressions and energy field.
Raw. I don’t wear armor.
I allow myself to be tenderized by the world. What is the difference between raw and vulnerable? Raw is uncooked. Am I uncooked? Perhaps so. I can be juicy and tender, succulent and sweet.
Vulnerable. I open my heart/mind.
When I am in this place I feel pliable and flexible. Notice I don’t say susceptible or weak. Rather, I am willing to shift my views, to open myself to the experience of the other person, and to attune to the present moment, without pretense or defense. Vulnerability is an expression of strength. It exudes trust, confidence, and safety. I love it.
I do my level best to foster calm, genuine, lovingkindness. This is a byproduct of being real, raw, and vulnerable. I am one to get stuff going. I am a catalyst. An initiator. And I try to be kind.
And allow space and consideration for others to be real, raw, and vulnerable, too.