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 can 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 sincerity.

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 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 over 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.

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


'being vulnerable' / Jamie Homeister