Friday, June 22, 2012

Finding Strength in Vulnerability

"When we were children, we used to think that when we were grown-up we would no longer be vulnerable.  But to grow up is to accept be alive is to be vulnerable."  ~Madeleine L' Engle

The definition of vulnerability...having the capability to be hurt...implies our need for protection, our inherent need to shield ourselves from danger so that we will survive. We are born with the will and instinct to protect ourselves.  So you might say that it runs counter to our natural inclinations to allow ourselves to be vulnerable, to lower our defenses and become open to intense emotions like fear, loneliness, or insecurity; sadness, shame or grief.  Sometimes it's even difficult to open ourselves to what would be considered the more positive or desired feelings, like compassion, or love.  So we are faced with a dilemma.  Do we continue to protect ourselves as we are naturally wired to do...possibly remaining disconnected or isolated in efforts to avoid rejection or pain?  Or do we somehow allow ourselves to live fully, to experience the most whole version of our selves and our lives, opening ourselves up to feel our feelings, to express our feelings and then to experience purpose and possibility?