Looking down at our baby Tula at 3am a few days ago and she seemed so utterly vulnerable. She is fully and absolutely reliant on either Sacha or myself for survival. It is quite a responsibility. And it is also an amazing opportunity!
For what I recognise is the inner response within me to meet that vulnerability – a drive to meet it with love, kindness and patience. It’s not a chore at all – though it is a challenge to wake up night after night at 3am, but 10 mins after getting up, and we’re sitting together eye gazing, it’s sweet! Of course this inner response to our baby’s vulnerability is completely natural – nature’s way of making sure we all survive entering this world.
But there is something deeper going on too because being vulnerable doesn’t stop once we reach 18 and let our parents be.
On many levels our vulnerability continues throughout our life. On a survival level we can never truly know when our time is up, or when some debilitating disease may take hold, and we will need the support of family and friends.
And there is also a more day to day vulnerability – if we allow ourselves to go there! Underneath my calm happy exterior is a whole world of emotional vulnerability that I’m often not in touch with, or I simply would rather not face. Perhaps many of us have hidden worlds of low self-esteem, depression, needs to be seen to be successful, good, rich, cool, poor, funny, acceptable…the list goes on and on. Such needs may render us feeling vulnerable when they are inevitably not met. Such is the life for us humans.
For many years, especially in my twenties, I’d avoid all notion of this vulnerability. Whenever I did allow it through, the relationship I was in, or going back further to my childhood, it simply didn’t seem acceptable, and certainly not welcomed. My parents generation rarely had the skills or the cultural background to be open and truly vulnerable emotionally.
Opening to Connection
What I have learned since being in my thirties, exploring the world of mind, body and spirit, is that opening to the truth of my vulnerability allows me to be open to richer and deeper connections with my partner, friends and family. I have to give great credit here to Sacha for showing me the way. She has always been totally present, supportive and loving whenever I’ve been in a vulnerable space and that has taught me a great lesson in trust. When I allow myself to express that I am feeling scared, worried, sad, depressed or frustrated, almost without fail I find myself met with understanding, kindness and compassion. Emotions are part of our human experience (we have tear ducts for a reason!) and giving permission to them, acknowledging them, gives us all permission to be real doesn’t it?
It seems to be a win-win approach: the reality of our vulnerability is acknowledged and expressed, and the one who offers support has that opportunity to be in their compassion, their kindness. I’m not saying that would always be easy or comfortable, but in the exchange of our deeper realities, greater understanding of each other, and greater connection to each other may be made. Perhaps a way forward to healing and love.
Amazing what a baby can remind us eh! Thank you beautiful Tula. I’ll end with a quote, a Native American proverb:
“The Soul Would Have No Rainbow If The Eyes Had No Tears.”