I recently joined a couple of Facebook groups that are for memoir writers. I told them a little bit about my memoir and they told me about their books. One lady said that memoir writers are the bravest of writers because they reveal so much about themselves. She said it makes them vulnerable.
I think that for a lot of people, vulnerability seems like a bad thing. Revealing to the world what a person really thinks and the mistakes he or she has made in life is difficult. That is probably because we want people to like and respect us. As a result, we may feel the need to hide some things. In my opinion, hiding things makes us vulnerable.
In my 20’s I hid a lot of things from people who knew me. I hid my insecurities, my ignorance of the world around me, and my life in crime. It was a torturous time for me. I constantly felt on the edge of destruction because I did not feel I was as good as the people around me. I felt vulnerable.
In my 30’s and 40’s, I was unable to hide what I had done in my 20’s because they were on display to the world. My indictment and trial were, for me, the worst type of unauthorized biography. It seemed as though every past misdeed in my life came to light and was viewed through the lens of a cruel justice system. But the justice system was not cruel, it was a machine devoid of compassion or understanding anyone or anything outside of the two extremes of guilt or innocence. It made me vulnerable.
In a few days, shortly after I turn 59, I will again be vulnerable to the world. My memoir will make certain of that. People who read it will know more about me than I ever expected them to know or wanted them to know. Moving past the worries of whether it is good enough or well written, there is the knowledge that I will not be able to hide the things in it. I will once again be vulnerable.
Only this time, I am okay with that.
This is a new world of vulnerability for me. That is because I have learned that I was never hiding anything from God. While others may have been deceived by me, He was not. He knew me at my worst and never left me. He did not look away when I was in sin. He pulled me through it and got me to the other side. He did not need my memoir to find things out. I was always an open book to Him. I was vulnerable to Him and did not realize it. Somehow, I find comfort and joy in that. It makes me feel less vulnerable.