From a young age, I learned to hide my vulnerability. Don’t cry; don’t show anger; don’t raise your voice; don’t show nervousness; don’t draw attention to yourself; and much more. These voices were my constant companions growing up. Being honest about how I felt would have been like planting a rosebush in the desert and expecting it to live.
The terrain of vulnerability is not something I embraced. As I grew up, I created masks to hide behind. I learned to please everyone and do things that were expected of me. I hid who I was because revealing my inner truth felt dangerous and weak. I disregarded my heart and kept it under lock and key. I saw it as a symbol of weakness and romanticism rather than a powerhouse of love.
Years later, after having gone through the fire and the dark night of the soul while entering the sanctuary of Sabad (Infinite-Wisdom), I realized that vulnerability is how love transpires. To experience devotional love and reverential love, I needed to be vulnerable. My masks needed to come off before I could genuinely stand naked in every sense before my love.
Loving is extremely risky. Let no one tell you otherwise. To reclaim the power of vulnerability loving requires the discipline of a warrior. And when I realized that what society had deemed as “weak” was actually a place of inspiration, it set me free. This freedom allowed me to move towards the human experience of passionate and authentic living.
I know there are many who experience the vulnerability of starvation, destitution, sorrow, aggression, and conflict daily. I am highly aware that many do not have the luxury nor the safety to be able to choose the experience of authentic living. I am fortunate to have the financial resources that allow me the freedom to explore my emotional landscape in ways that others may not have. I know I am privileged and am cognizant of the responsibility that comes with this privilege. Therefore, I choose to continue navigating the uneven terrain of vulnerability and reverently write about the transformative power of loving intensely.
Life is unpredictable. In a blink of an eye, our best-laid-out plans dissipate, and life takes us into raw and vulnerable places without warning. At the moment, the entire world is in the grip of the COVID-19 pandemic, exposing us to our vulnerability like never before.
Vulnerability and I are old friends because life has directed me towards it many times without warning. It is where I have burned, been beaten, and experienced intense separation, and yet I dare to write that it is where I have felt truly alive and honest. Being in this precarious place empowered me. I have come to know myself more deeply and have experienced a more profound sense of love and belonging in the world because, unknowingly, I was dragged into the deep waters of vulnerability and graced to swim instead of sink.
So, take a leap of faith. Embrace this vulnerability and allow yourself to experience the gifts that arise from being uncomfortable. To learn from vulnerability is to dive into its depths. Don’t be deterred by vulnerability’s discomfort, fear, or despair. I know it is much easier to sit on the couch, nap, or complain than to summon the courage to dive into the waters of vulnerability. However, we cannot love if we do not know our essence.
Recently, The Voice whispered, “Become the sandalwood tree. Become the coolant for the snakes. Allow them to put their fangs in you.”
I broke down.
I knew what was being asked, and I was incapable of delivering.
The inner dialogue began: Should I ignore this Command, or should I find ways to act on it? I don’t know where it will lead me. What if I lose myself?
Despite the uncertainty, I consciously choose to embrace this Command, and therefore, I’m experiencing a heightened sense of vulnerability. The luxury of mulling over emails and phone calls is over. I am stepping into the unfamiliar.
I seek the refuge of the artist in me, for the creative process nurtures me. It has the power to reposition my inner struggles and remind me of my divinity.
I know not where this journey will take me.
What I do know is that I want to live courageously and heart-centered. I want to live fully embracing life with my entire being and allowing the lightness of my breath to mingle with the heaviness of my matter. I want to live at the point where everything comes together–where the invisible meets the visible, and I am open to life on life’s terms. If that means becoming the sandalwood tree, then so be it.
Living life in a profoundly loving way is vulnerable and intensely intimate.
The path is laid out…