Embrace Your Vulnerability10,000 footprints
Recently I have been considering the tumultuous state of vulnerability within my Self, Others, and my relationship with those Others. A touchy concept, vulnerability. As I observe and recognize it in other people, I realize the plethora of negative connotations vulnerability embodies. Even in my Self, my latest (consciously recognized) vulnerable encounters have been difficult and emotionally draining. But why?
When I travel alone, I am particularly vulnerable. This scares my mother. In all honesty, sometimes it scares me. At the same time, when I take the opportunity to open up my Self, embrace my vulnerability and depend upon the actions of another human being, I allow my Self to experience a unique connection with another wandering soul. This connection, however fleeting, nourishes my engagement with the universe via the kindness of another. Embracing vulnerability allows the expanse of the universe, all that exists, to seep into my own Self and mingle with my own expression of the cosmos.
Can vulnerability be more beautiful?
Viewed this way, a constant state of vulnerability, a constant exchange with the expanse of nature, might parallel enlightenment. Yet in some experiences, my dalliances with vulnerability have not left me feeling more connected. They have not left me lifted and open, but hurt, closed, and disjointed. Recently, when I witness those close to me confront a vulnerable state, they appear lost, angry, fearful, and depressed. These experiences have twisted my relationship with vulnerability. Where once I felt connected, now I feel exposed. Where once I felt uplifted, now I feel dragged down.
Could these negative vulnerable experiences be as much a part of the beautiful exchange with the universe as the uplifting vulnerable experiences?
As a society of pleasure seekers, we are often sent a message: any experience which makes us feel “bad” – anger, fear, loneliness, anxiousness, weakness – should be avoided and exchanged for a “good” experience as quickly as possible. But as a patient seeker of my own true Self, I am slowly, meticulously, learning these “bad” emotions and experiences are as equally important to embrace as the “good” ones. Opening to a vulnerable state no matter its positive/negative connotation among today’s society allows my Self to experience deeper and fuller states of Being.
In seeking my true Self, more and more I realize it is more important to change my view on an experience rather than changing the experience itself. In recognizing the positive encounters with vulnerability, I am also able to recognize the positive-ness of negative encounters. This takes incredible practice, patience, and compassion with my Self. In my acknowledgement of the small spaces, appreciating moments in their essence, breathing through experiences no matter their positive-negative associations, each of these conscious choices takes small steps toward embracing my vulnerable states. Small steps toward fully opening to my encounters with the Universe. Small steps toward embracing vulnerability.