Powerfully vulnerable.

There is so much power in vulnerability. I'm not talking about the erratic and intrusive kind where you pour yourself onto a stranger's lap. I'm talking about the real type of vulnerable. The gut strangling, soul-quaking, knee-shaking kind that risks sharing your voice, your ideas, and your compassion without the promise of gratification.

A person who is powerfully vulnerable can fully empathize with another's pain but walk away without wearing their burden.
They observe the world through their heart centers and see the good inside someone even if that person is not living in a good way.
They can be strong through bites and barks and scratches and snarls and still continue to care with empathy.

Those who are powerfully vulnerable are often quiet by choice. They don't saturate others with their problems and will find creative ways to transmute their experiences, inspiring and uplifting their communities in a positive way.
They know how to say goodbye when it's called for, even if it hurts, only to turn around and welcome in another with an unreserved tenderness.
When powerfully vulnerable people help another, they won't linger for you to attach to but breeze into your life like a warm chinook on a frigid day, reviving your spirit with encouragement to hang on, that spring is near.

Vulnerability is an integral part of our soul's expression. It is our common power. I imagine it to be like a golden thread strung through the blueprint of every soul, connecting us to one another like a chain of paper dolls—fragile, but infinitely capable canvases. We are all the same on the inside, seeking a community where we can be accepted and show our true selves. We turn to our neighbors for acceptance while our neighbors look to us for theirs. Each of us bound and unmoving, afraid to be the one to show our humanness first.

This is especially true for those of us who were raised in the West. We no longer have the teachings or ceremonies in place that helps us mature from being passionately vulnerable to becoming powerfully vulnerable. We're not told there's a difference between the two. I have spent most my life in a state of passion. Fueled by my desire to serve, I let it get me to where I thought I needed to be. But passion has a way of taking over, spreading like a wildfire over my discernment. It would engulf my intuition and my experiences; inviting anything in, good or bad, just as long as I had something to feel.

I was that person without social boundaries.
I wore other people's pain like a sweater.
I listened, I understood, then I judged.
I recoiled.
I clung.
I held back.
I made excuses for people who really didn't deserve them, all while giving myself none.

I didn't mean to do any of these things of course because my heart just wanted to do good things and my intent was just to be a good person, but passion is blinding. A thoughtless heart-rush. My passion to be vulnerable kept me locked in a pattern of over-giving and over-sharing for thirty years, and I cannot recall one friendship or lesson that didn't leave a mark on my heart because of it. At my core I was honoring one of the most intrinsic parts of my being, only I was doing it in a very uncontrolled way. I was being vulnerable from a vulnerable place instead of offering my vulnerability from a powerful one.

Last week, we were prompted to start thinking about our personal power: Do we know what our power is? Can we name it? Does it have a face? A life of its own? In what ways are we living and honoring this power? And more importantly, in what ways are we working against it?

I spent six days last week in a passionately vulnerable state. My heart was two sizes too big for my body, overshadowing the logic of my mind and intuition seated in my belly. We need all three of these centers (head, heart, belly) to be working together in unison. Each exchanges their energy to one another by flowing through the heart center where, in an ideal world, we make our decisions from. When neither center is in competition with one another we can interact with the world in a powerfully vulnerable state. This means: 

  • We can observe without judgment.
  • We can offer without expectation.
  • We give in safety and accept with boundaries.
  • We don't have to question our actions or our words because we're already making choices and responding from our true selves.

If you weren't able to determine what your Power was last week—don't fret. Perhaps you could take a few moments throughout this one and think about what manifested that elicited a strong reaction such as anger, jealousy, fragility, fear, repulsion, etc., and try to decide from a neutral place what that situation was really asking for. If I'm stuck in a non-neutral place, I'll turn to my Tarot and ask it to show me what the root of the issue is that I'm not fully witnessing. You could use oracle cards in this manner, pendulums with or yes or no questions, or even ask for a helping dream right before you go to sleep. Answers may come easily or they may take a few days. Have patience for your process. In the meantime, using all of the examples written above, you might want to ask yourself if you're being passionately vulnerable, or powerfully vulnerable during these situations. (Hint: Neither isn't an option, otherwise you would have had no reaction. Whether you use this information through the week to help you make amends with the last, or if you choose to just be mindful moving forward through the easy ways you get snared into tough emotions, know this—vulnerability is a superpower. We are blessed with this gift to help share this strength of connection with others.

You are being powerfully vulnerable for reading, commenting, and supporting me through these past two years and I thank all of you for sharing your vulnerability with me. It's encouraged my voice, abated my fear, and has made me feel more aligned with my soul than I have ever experienced in this life. Could 'thank you' be enough?

A beautiful string of paper dolls are we,
strung together in a line.
Our colors faded,
our paper, old.
Our arms are crossed
but our hearts are gold.

Blessed, are we.