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, ever present and abiding under-current 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 be something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, 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.

To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is one of the privileges and the prime conceits of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath. 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.

© May 2014 David Whyte
Excerpted from ‘VULNERABILITY’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

I just saw this on Facebook and have to share. He writes so beautifully of vulnerability – that exquisite loss of power, of control, that place that we wish to hide from, but it always catches up with us…and when it does, we can allow ourselves to be fully in it, and it’s delicious in its realness, its absolute presence of being, when we are truly vulnerable, and surrender.

10 thoughts on “VULNERABILITY …

  1. Lucia,
    I have spent many days reading this entire blog. My daughter Carly passed away just a week before Elizabeth did and she was also 22 years old and was my only child. We know each other from Oneness and I have been to your house in Tucson. As I read this blog, I could see so many similarities in our two daughters. Elizabeth with her blue hair, Carly with her magenta red, and they were both artistic and loved to make their own fashion statements, even their tattoos. It is as if they were cut from the same mold and why they had to leave, we will never know. Carly was taken very suddenly and I never did get to say goodbye or share those last moments of her life with her. She passed away while at college at Chico State University in her senior year. I saw your profile on google circles, and added you as a friend and then was guided to your site but I am feeling that Carly and Elizabeth are together and made this happen. I think they wanted me to read this blog. As I read this journey it is helping me deal with my own feelings about her passing. Like what to do with her things, and what to keep and what not to. I have yet to get to that place where I can let go of the ashes but in the last couple of days after reading this, I am getting the strength to go through some of her things and bag them up. I started with going through my stuff and then working into hers. Somehow making this transition made it a little easier, but there were still so many moments of tears. Looking at her hairbrush made me cry, and then all the flowers she used to clip in her hair. So many triggers that I thought I would be strong enough to handle but even after a year and a half, it does not seem to be so. There are moments like you have, where I think OK, I am doing good, and then clear out of the blue thinking of her and the tears come again. This blog is a godsend to me because I have been going through this alone with no support and those that showed up when she first passed away have long since moved on and I am still here grieving the loss of her beautiful spirit. I have been trying to hold a space for her in a respectful and loving way and still not hold her here. Sometimes she comes to visit like Elizabeth does for you. And when I hear her voice, I am always wondering is that really her or is this just me making this up in my head? It is nice to read that you too hear your daughter and I am not imagining this. I really believe they can communicate with us. Thank you so much for writing about this journey. It has been very empowering to me and I hope to get to that place where you are eventually. God bless you always,
    Kass Callaghan
    Oneness San Francisco

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    • Dear Kass,
      I am so sorry for the loss of your precious daughter. Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to write. I remember you well, and even remember you mentioning your daughter – perhaps you were moving back to CA to be closer to her? I forget the details. It sounds like Carly and Elizabeth had many things in common, and I agree that they are likely laughing at their success in bringing us back together in this way!

      I am so sorry that your daughter was taken suddenly, and that you’ve not had support since her death. I know that some of what has helped me was having the gift of our time to heal and say our goodbyes before Elizabeth left. AND, I have really hard days too, and can totally relate to your story of looking at her hairbrush and crying. I do that too. I did give away most of Elizabeth’s clothes and other things, but there is no right time to do it, you’ll just know when it’s time. It’s hard to have her things around because of the reminders of the loss, and it’s hard to know they are gone…

      I have found a few things really helpful – a couple of readings I had with gifted mediums where Elizabeth came through and communicated was extremely helpful. She actually told me it was time to let go of her clothes (and she LOVED her clothes), saying they weren’t necessary to keep. She also assured me she is at peace, and very happy. Some of the details were so accurate about her, it was amazing! Also, “Proof of Heaven” by Dr Eban Alexander was very comforting to read. I recommend it if you haven’t yet.

      How odd and interesting that our girls died so close together, the same ages, and Elizabeth was born and lived in the Bay Area til we moved when she was 15. I’d love to see what your daughter looked like – you can send me a photo by email if you want to.

      I hope this Mother’s Day had more sweet than bitter. It was mixed for me, with sadness, gratitude, and pleasure in being able to speak to my other daughter, as well as feeling Elizabeth’s presence with me.
      love and blessings, Lucia

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  2. Thank you for sharing this. When we deny our vulnerabilities we are depriving ourselves of feeling anything, of truly living our lives and fulfilling our destiny. Because that’s where hope and love and ambition and joy and sorrow and friendship and dreams live. Our true selves, in all our glory.

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  3. Dear Lucia thank you for everything! I mean it from all of my heart. I am so glad I found this most amazing site. Perhaps I will be reading it over and over again because it is my journey as well and you have made it possible for me to get to the next step. If you would like to see Carly, you can do a friend request to Carly Marie Callaghan on Facebook and I will accept it. There you will see her life as she lived it and the comments from her friends. Carly also did a modeling shoot just 3 months before her last breath. Another similarity that she and Elizabeth have in common and she was beautiful just like Elizabeth. I would not be surprised if somewhere in their lives, their paths crossed and they met each other. It just seems like all the pieces are there that they would have woven together to bring me to Elizabeths life journey. I will read the book you mentioned. I picked it up more than once in the bookstore and now I am feeling it is time to read it. You have my email from your site, so please stay in touch with me and write anytime. I don’t have your personal email, but if you write to me, then I will have it. I will be watching for a friend request on Carly’s Facebook from you. I am sending you and Zellie lots of love and blessings as we all continue on this journey given to us by our daughters.
    In gratitude and appreciation,
    Kass

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    • Amazing all the things in common – your daughter is just beautiful! let me know how you are doing. I am so glad we’ve connected again, and so sorry it’s for this reason… love and blessings, Lucia

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  4. What did I know of vulnerability until Philip died? Nothing – now it’s where I live. I’m careful who I spend time, where I go; and I spend a lot of time alone. I don’t ever read the news – I can’t bear all the fighting, all the rage. I’m grateful for the comfort of my home, that Natalie’s at college in town and can live with me. And I’m grateful for you, Lucia. Are you loving the life you’ve transitioned to? Sending you so much love tonight…

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    • I’m grateful for you too! I am loving where I am, and also finding that I’m in a time of renewal and rebirth, and it’s not easy. Having to go deep, into some of the darker places, and I’m being given the time and space to do it… trusting the process but it’s not fun!

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