Vulnerability & Knowing


Another magnificent and windy day on the Riviera.

This tree took my eye this morning.  When it started to grow it had no idea which direction its branches would go except towards the sun.  And in the winter it has no choice but to lose its leaves and bare its bones in all its vulnerability to the human eye and the elements.  We can see it is a complex tree with branches turning in many directions; towards itself, around itself and away from itself.  This tree is growing at an angle and not straight up.  It is not a perfectly symmetrical tree either.

Imagine yourself as a tree and how it must feel to be that vulnerable.  Imagine exposing yourself to yourself on a yearly basis without caring a fig for what anyone might think of you.  In this state of being you reflect on how you are and who you are becoming with curiosity, empathy and compassion.  And you make attempts to grow in different directions.  You do so because you know spring and summer is coming and you will begin once again to dress yourself in flowers and leaves, extending your new growth as you dance in the midday sun.  You have trust in your vulnerability because it helps you to grow and you have done it year after year.  Each time you sense and reveal your vulnerability you grow stronger and stronger in who you are.  It becomes your way of life.

Consider the effort it takes to carry all your troubles and woes, your scary memories and experiences with you in a closet under lock and key in your minds vault, hidden from yourself and others.  What a dark terrain you might be living in!  Imagine a city of this kind of ‘you’s’.  A short fuse and they blow up!  Imagine governments negotiating with other governments, companies with companies, butchers with butchers, workers with workers, lovers with lovers, consultants with consultants, engineers with engineers, artists with artists, shoemakers with shoemakers, engineers with governments, artists with butchers, companies with workers etc.  And no one has learnt to share his or her vulnerabilities to know what it is to be human.  How can there be honest and meaningful conversations with minds that are not open with themselves whatever about with others.  What a melting pot that is!

When you say ‘I love you’ do you know which ‘I’ is saying these magical words; the vulnerable ‘I’ or the ‘I’ that wears many masks.  Consider the masks you might be wearing when YOU say;

‘I love you’

‘I care about you’

‘I want the best for you’

‘I will always be there for you’

We use these statements so often and so freely and walk away.

I wonder if you were to have your kimono open and we could look inside whilst you say these words what would we see?  What would ‘you’ see?

“What was more, they had taken the first step towrd genuine friendship. They had exchanged vulnerabilities.”  Arthur C Clarke, 2010: Odyssey Two

©Copyright The Possible Self 2012


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