I’ve been thinking a lot about second chances lately. Reflecting on the times I have been given the option of a “do over”. To try again at something that didn’t work out the first time. The times in which I’ve given someone else the opportunity to make amends. Seeing as it is also Father’s Day, I am thinking about my own father and the second chance he was vulnerable enough to take.
Third Time’s the Charm..
I am the product of my father’s third marriage. He had a brief marriage when he was very young which ended just about as quickly as it began. He then settled down and married another woman years later. From the stories I have heard it was not the best of unions with many tumultuous times. That marriage resulted in four children, and years later, another divorce.
I mention all of this because it gives a bit of context, but also demonstrates the overall messiness of life. No matter how clear the intentions, most of the time there is a lot of mess. It can be easy for someone who had the type of experience my father did (regarding romantic relationships), to just say “to hell with it” and never allow themselves to be vulnerable enough to try again.
One More Try..
However, he chose to keep trying. As time went on, my father met my mother, and that, as they say, was that. They fell in love, got married, and then had me. He was given a second chance (or some may say a second, second chance) and gave himself permission to be vulnerable enough to open his heart to my mother. They went on to spend more than 25 years together, and even after his death in 2004, his lesson of daring to be vulnerable lives on.
I cannot speak to the relationship men have with being vulnerable, but I suppose it is not much different from my own. Developing a tough outer shell to protect myself from bullying and rejection due to my cleft made me resist being vulnerable with others. Years of conditioning made me equate being vulnerable with being hurt.
Vulnerability is Good..
As I get older, I find myself thinking more and more about my father’s experience. I am trying to follow his lead and allow myself to be vulnerable enough to take a second chance when offered and extend one to someone else when they need it. It is my hope to pass down the knowledge to my daughter that vulnerability is not a weakness, but a strength to develop.
Don’t Let Life Pass You By..
Vulnerability is hard. It certainly is not for the faint of heart, and it takes lots of practice. But take a cue from my dad. Deem yourself worth enough to give yourself a second chance. Because if you don’t, just think what you might miss out on.
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