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" A good traveller has no fixed plans,

and is not intent on arriving "

Lao Tzu

Inhabiting Our Vulnerability

November 28th, 2016
'Fallen Fragility' _ Russell Styles

‘Fallen Fragility’ – Russell Styles

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 undercurrent 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 become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in 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 a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but it is 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.

~ David Whyte

Buddhist monks are walking on a wooden bridge in mist sunrise

2 Responses to “Inhabiting Our Vulnerability”

  1. Beautifull. I walked fully through these doors. It is when you become genuine . Embracing, accepting all vulnerabilities that come with Empathy makes the Soul breathe. But it is not always seen that way.
    Vulnerability makes us genuine. It is OK. We should tell our children this.
    Love Mimsy

  2. This is so apt for me at present, Philip. I am having health problems especially with my mobility and

    balance which has made me feel vulnerable, but I have been reluctant and ashamed to admit it until

    now.

    I have just last week admitted that I need help from others and have taken steps towards

    feeling safer in my home. Thank so much for sharing this wonderful and inspiring piece.

    Love and Blessings

    Anne

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