On Vulnerability and Love

The morning was gray, and quiet. I sat on my deck, having coffee, reading blogs, reading email. Doing some pensive introspection. About myself. About S. About vulnerability.

I have been a champion of vulnerability. I have watched Brene Brown’s TED talk on vulnerability maybe a dozen times. She speaks to what I have always known, but did not form into a cohesive thought until I saw her speak.

I have never been afraid to be vulnerable. Not with my friends, not with strangers, not with the men in my life. Not in my blogs, or my book, or with my son. I do believe that you don’t give someone all your secrets, until they have proven the right to hear them.  I give it out a little at a time, but I give it.  I will initiate it.  I am not afraid of it.

I believe it is the only way to have a real, fulfilling, human experience. I believe, as Brene does, that it is the birthplace of creativity, of joy. It is the ying of the yang. You can’t know joy if you don’t risk something. You can’t be creative if you are afraid of failure. You can’t expect someone to open up to you their deepest darkest secrets if you won’t share in kind.

Vulnerability means that you take a risk, you put yourself out there. Not knowing what the outcome will be, if you think that there might be a reward that makes it worthwhile. There is no risk-free existence. You can’t imagine that just because you love someone they will always love you back. You can’t believe that everything will always stay the same. Change happens. And when it happens, and you hurt from it, instead of closing your heart, you have to thank God you are able to love so passionately, so fully. Because it means you are alive. If you hurt….it is the ying to the yang. There is no great reward without great suffering.

Ram Dass tells a story about his guru, who when given the option of love vs. suffering, chose suffering, because it was then that he would grow. Learn about himself.

So, we wish those who cause us to suffer, love and light. We let them go on their way, in their life, and hope that they find joy. We find ourselves better prepared to go on with LIFE, and LIVING, because we have a deeper understanding of what brings us joy, and peace.

One of my favorite quotes is from Khalil Gibran. It states:

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.

I have a friend who was devastated by an ex. This persons heart is closed now, for the most part. They do not want to love again, to risk giving of themselves because the pain is so great. I see cracks in the wall occasionally. But the person quickly fills them in, and retreats behind the wall again.

To me, it is like being dead before you are dead. So love didn’t work out that time, or the time before. Maybe it worked for awhile, a long while, and then it changed. Change is part of life. Loving to me is living. I cant’ separate the love of a person, from love of myself, my family, of every living thing. To stop one is to diminish all. Because they are all connected.

This being said….if we love someone to the best of our ability, and they choose not to return it for whatever reason, it’s not healthy for us to continue to dream that they will. There is a time to let go, and acknowledge that this is not the one for you. It comes with self awareness. Let go with joy, wishing all blessings and happiness to that person. And then risk being vulnerability again.

Never forget that once you decide what you want, the universe will conspire to make that happen. Thoughts become things, so think the thoughts about what you want. Not about what you don’t.

And live. LIVE.

5 responses to “On Vulnerability and Love

    • Basket cases, Aren’t we? Lol. I had what started out as a day alone at a park on the ocean. Then he joined me, then we thought it was going to be sad and turned out to be a closer connection I think. It was lovely. It’s all good. Trouble is at this age (I’m 64, he’s 66 and I think you said you were 60?) we all have baggage and we have to deal with it as best we can. Sometimes we can help each other, sometimes it’s got to be dealt with alone. I say, give me what you can when you can. I’m not going anywhere.

      • You know Michelle I think he loves you in his own way, but is afraid. I think that’s very common in older men. It’s a question if we can work with what we’re given. Or if it just causes us pain. I think women as the nurturers get over past hurts more easily than men.

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