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Why vulnerability is a sign of strength

Game of Chess

I believe I talked about this topic before, and since I’m not a fan of the advice that you should repurpose your content and update it, and always keep talking about the same stuff, I wasn’t sure I wanted to keep it on my list of things to write for this challenge. However, I’m now 30 and this blog has been around for 7 years, so even if I wrote about it before, there is no guarantee that my perspective on it hasn’t changed ever so slightly.

An internal search for the word vulnerability on my blog returned one post from December 2016 titled “What is wrong with modern dating?”, so I re-read it. I love to read things I wrote in the past. Some make me cringe, but others make me see how much I have grown. In this case, also how much Spencer Matthews has grown, as he is now a married man and a father, but I digress. In this case, I haven’t changed that much. I may be slightly less busy than I was back then, but that’s pretty much it. There are a few more posts that are flagged by “vulnerable”, including one from last year’s LoveBlog which was in response to the prompt Balance (Letting go of independence). I would like to say that it has become easier in the following year, but it really hasn’t. In the words of Lady Mary Crawley, “I’m stubborn, I wish I wasn’t, but I am”.

It’s something that has been with me forever, but I have slowly been undoing it over time (beginning with Walsingham 2015). One day, I earnestly prayed to become more charismatic: more King David inebriated with the joy of the Lord and less his wife, concerned with worldly appearances and ideas of status. As the traddening intensifies all around, and my generation holds on for dear life to the reverence and beauty of the Catholic tradition, I know how much I can hide behind them to close my heart and still feel like I’m ticking all the right boxes. That’s how families like mine are, and why I think, of all characters in Brideshead Revisited, I can identify the most with Lady Marchmain.

Some days ago, someone from Catholic Twitter tweeted something about how certain people in the Church would feel if they met St Philip Neri, who was a man of great humour. I also read something whose specifics I cannot recollect about the dangers of intellectualism in a life of faith. Nothing really new to me, but it was just the feast of St Thomas Aquinas, and it’s no surprise to anyone how fundamental he was to my coming back to faith. In a world that told me clever people couldn’t believe in such silly fairy tales, it was the great intellectuals of the Church who began to hit at my defenses until no intellectual coherence I would expect of myself could justify unbelief. Over the years, I had to learn to let go of too much knowledge from the head to make space from knowledge from the heart, lest I become a Pharisee, consumed with doing the right thing and earning something I could never earn, while missing out Jesus who had been staring in my face all along.

I’m convinced beyond reasonable doubt that vulnerability is a sign of strength. Not taking yourself too seriously is humility, and only the strong can be truly humble: they don’t feel like they have anything to prove. After a lifetime of never feeling good enough, reaching the point when I care nothing what others think but Jesus would be my greatest achievement. I’m almost there, except I still struggle when it comes to career and education. I had to take some hard decisions following a year of bad health, but it also gave me the chance to choose to do something I’d love to do but never had the courage to do because I was too scared to live by faith, to lose my identity, to admit what people may perceive as failure, but also because I was scared of failing to do it, or what people would say of the final products.

So here I am, laying it all bare: I’m writing two books, and maybe even 3. One of them is about history and food, because I love food and it makes me happy to be around food. One of them is about history and design, because design and beautiful things make me happy too. God opened this door for me at present, and I need to learn to trust Him because He knows what He’s doing and He is not out to catch me out or hurt me. I pray that, one day soon, I’ll be truly worthy of the label of strong woman often thrown about to describe me, and to which I’ve aspired all my life.

This blog post is part of the LoveBlog Challenge on the subject of Vulnerability.

Meet your hosts

Brita of Belle BritaWoman in pink and purple flower dress and white straw hat in front of pink flowers

Brita Long is the pink and sparkly personality behind the Christian feminist lifestyle blog, Belle Brita. On her blog and social media, you’ll discover more than authentic storytelling–she’s brutally honest about pursuing a fulfilling and joyful life even with Crohn’s Disease and depression.

 

 

 

Laura of Do Five Things A Day

Laura is a big dreamer, full time marketing manager, blogger, and part-time artist. Like many of us, she spent part of her life struggling with frustrations on a daily basis and just all around felt drained and uninspired…that was her. She decided to change all that one morning. Now Laura lives in the blogging world because she believes the buzz about self-care and self-love needs to be heard. She aspires to inspire people in their everyday lives and help them to live towards their dreams and making the most out of every day by sharing her own experiences and stories.

 

 


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5 Comments

  • Reply Laura

    This is so beautifully written <3 I absolutely love this, "Not taking yourself too seriously is humility, and only the strong can be truly humble: they don’t feel like they have anything to prove." What an amazing perspective to adopt!
    I love how you notably pointed out that vulnerability can lead us to beautiful places, to places of truth and to going after passions that we may not have allowed ourselves to do without accepting the opportunity for humility and failure. Thank you so much for sharing this inspirational and honest post.

    February 8, 2019 at 8:01 pm
    • Reply Alessia

      That means a lot to me, thank you. I nearly just scrapped it at some point, so I’m glad I didn’t now.

      February 9, 2019 at 1:39 pm
      • Reply Laura

        I’m so glad you didn’t either! It was a really inspiring piece for me!

        February 12, 2019 at 1:06 am
  • Reply Nancy Burton Wolfe

    Favorite line: “I had to learn to let go of too much knowledge from the head to make space from knowledge from the heart.” I don’t think people admire heart knowledge enough. In fact, we glamourize and affirm “intellectual” at the expense of the “emotional”… xoxox

    February 11, 2019 at 12:13 am
    • Reply Alessia

      Very true. It’s like having one side of a coin but not the other

      February 11, 2019 at 6:41 pm

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