Taking Off the Armor

Midweek Devotion #10

September 9, 2015

Lonely Violin

Lonely Violin

After I posted last week’s devotion, I had a very good opportunity to be gentle and soft during a violin lesson with my stepson. He was curled up in a ball refusing to practice or participate. I played for awhile and just let him listen. Then I shared with him what was making me frustrated. I was trying to memorize the Bach Double Concerto for Two Violins. There are a lot of notes and I am making slow progress. And my arm was getting sore.

“Now that I’ve told you what’s making me frustrated,” I asked him, “why don’t you tell me what is frustrating you?” He reached over and plucked a string. His violin was looking lonely sitting there next to him on the couch. “Can you use your words?” I asked. “I know you are a big kid and can use words.”

He plucked two strings again, then said, “I can’t play on the D or G string.” He was clearly feeling ashamed at not being able to do a good job, and he was not able to articulate that. All he knew how to do was curl up in the corner.

“Will you take turns playing Pepperoni Pizza with me on the A string?” (A simple rhythm that I know he can do on a string he knows how to play on.) Proceeding from there, I was able to coax him out of his shell. Continuing to take turns, we progressed through the rest of the lesson, even learning a difficult line of music in his working piece.

Vulnerability is key! Learning to model and share what is frustrating to us as adults, letting our kids peer into that imperfect world, can really draw them out of their shell. Such a different approach from the one that says, “Be tough. Buck up. Do your job.”

Take a GoodMinute

  • Do I take off my armor in front of my loved ones, especially kids? Do I allow them to take off theirs?
  • Who allows me to take off my armor? Why do I feel safe around them? What kind of being, aura, space do they generate?

And from Brené Brown, Daring Greatly:

If Wholeheartedness is the goal, then above all else we should strive to raise children who:

  • Engage with the world from a place of worthiness
  • Embrace their vulnerabilities and imperfections…

As parents this means we are called upon to…recognize our own armor and model for our children how to take it off, be vulnerable, show up, and let ourselves be seen and known.

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