"What makes you vulnerable, makes you beautiful." Berene Brown
Vulnerability is one of those things we all try to avoid as best as possible. A little like envy, it makes us cringe at the thought of it. It encompasses our very being. Starts at the mind and runs down through our veins in a cold sweat. It is just, yuck. Scary. Best to avoid it. Or not? Or is this even possible?
Despite the physical and mental structures we try to employ, we are so vulnerable in this life. Every single one of us. This year has taught me that no, it is not possible to avoid vulnerability. Love and life are filled with vulnerability because neither are permanent. We grasp on to them as hard as we can only to know that one day we will have to let go.
Our culture does its best to separate itself from the cycles of nature. We try to tell ourselves that we aren't really part of the same cycle as the flowers, the trees, the animals. But we are. We are all impermanent creatures, prone to disease, the death, to weather and loss. We are vulnerable here and now.
Despite the inevitability of vulnerability, life also presents us with times when we can decide to put ourselves in a vulnerable spot or not. It may be that in these times it is easiest to choose not to be vulnerable (the thought makes us cringe) but whether we choose to or not, is a very difficult challenge. Despite the cold sweat and nausea that vulnerability brings to our minds, vulnerability also grows strength; it allows us to relate to life directly, rather than slowly dying in fear.
"Fear is a natural reaction to moving closer to the truth." Pema Chodron
There is no doubt that this past year has made me fearful and reluctant to vulnerability. I didn't realize it then, but when I became pregnant with Winnie, I became vulnerable. It was naive of me to think otherwise, but I was hit head on with reality the day she was born and even more so the day she passed away.
Before Winnie arrived I often worried if I could love her as much as I loved my first child. Did I have enough room in my heart? Was it even possible to love another human being as much as I loved my first daughter? But the second Winnie came into the world that question was answered. Never could I have imagined loving two little people as equally and as strongly as I do my two girls. I am forever vulnerable in love, in loss, in fear of trying again to grow my family. How can I grasp that vulnerability with everything I have and dive into whatever it has to offer me? How can I find the strength to move closer to the truth?