The longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere has come and gone and even though winter still deepens into the end of the year, the light is slowly creeping in. For this wholeheart writing project- engaging life with a wholeheart and exploring vulnerability – the year is also coming to a close even as it will start anew again. This has been a year of encountering vulnerability deeply, feeling adrift so many times and turning toward my own sense of it and what vulnerability feels and looks like. Looking back over the year of posts and the recognition of how we all hide behind barriers to protect our vulnerable soft beings and in that process subvert our inner voice, this has indeed be a year of journeying into the discovery of my own voice and expressing that more openly and with comfort, even if at times tainted with some hubris.
David Whyte in his new book Consolations writes an essay about vulnerability
“Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, every present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity.”
“The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.”
So having come to the end of this open exploration on vulnerability I have delved deeply this year into cultivating authenticity; self-compassion; resilient spirit; gratitude and joy; intuition and trusting faith; creativity; play and rest; calm and stillness; meaningful work; laughter, song, and dance, letting go of having to present myself in a particular way and in so doing showing up just as I am. Perhaps the journey is only beginning.
This holiday season time of the year is not always an easy ask as many of us struggle with being alone, having family configurations change anew for the holidays, not having our holiday celebrations look like they did before, and feeling vulnerable in the process. Vulnerability asks of us to just be, as best we can, with courage and compassion and draw this vulnerability closer in with wholehearted engagement, understanding that as we befriend our vulnerability we befriend the core of our belonging.
Thank you for reading these wholehearted 2014 posts. Let’s see what 2015 brings.