A Warrior’s Vulnerability

The willingness and ability to be vulnerable is one of the keys to the blissful, beautiful life we all desire. I have faced tremendous heart break, frustration and grief in this lifetime, as I am sure many of us can say. My saving grace has been to never give up, seriously. I have fallen so many more times than I can remember either because I was knocked down or because I put myself up for falling. Some may call me stubborn but I prefer the word determined. It helped me through the most painful times because I just refused to give up and “go home”.  I was willing to try almost anything because I would refuse to believe that this, whatever this was, was the only way.

One of my greatest strengths, my persistence and determination, has also been my biggest down fall. It may sound romantic to the great American belief of “never giving up” and there is much positive in this belief, until we take it past what we can do, literally. Our spirits, our souls, are never ending. Our bodies, not so much. We are human. There is a limit to what we can do, especially when we do not care for ourselves. That limit can /will change constantly and when we push and push without rest or care we do more harm than good to ourselves.

During these times in my life I find my patience with vulnerability, mine or another’s, tested and challenged. Don’t they see, don’t they know I do not have time for those showing their vulnerability! I have work to do, things to do. Can’t they see I am busy fighting the world, being the warrior I am????

I am a warrior and I am okay with that. I’m actually good with it because I am good at it. I passionately stand up when others won’t or can’t. I have a powerful group of fellow warriors in my life too. We all have our different passions but the drive is the same…..

And when everything within me says I need to STOP and care for myself and I ignore it, this is where it becomes troublesome. In those moments, I don’t see vulnerability as something that is bad, per se, just something I do not have time for, literally. If you/I need to fall and break down, I love you but I will not wait for you. I will tell you to toughen up or maybe to stop being a victim. And if I don’t tell you I will probably think it.

But

When I am in my place of warrior and listening to my body and soul’s needs I view vulnerability as the beautiful opportunity for connection and love that it is. I am no longer in a rush to take on the world and fix all the injustices I see or experience, I accept that which is in front of me in this moment. I have faith and trust in the fact that I will do what I can and it is enough. I trust in the Higher hand to manage the Universe without me  😉

For whatever reason, I have chosen to be in this human body in this time on earth right now. I can exhaust and harm myself trying to be more than human but I am not sure that is the plan for me. Playing the role of warrior is human. Being vulnerable is human. Both are transformational. Who’s to say one is better than the other?

Certainly not me. They are different ends of the same stick. Sometimes the act of love is to stand up and fight for goodness and light. Sometimes the act of love is to be vulnerable. Sometimes when we embrace the whole stick we understand the strength that the warrior’s vulnerability holds.

LOL9-12a

Cruel to Be Kind?

When I was a young girl I used to stutter, badly. My mother says she was worried that I would never speak normally. I am happy to say that I do speak normally, whatever that is, but to this day I can still “lose” my words when I am tired or stressed. I could also be fairly timid, especially around people I didn’t know. I have an unusual first name and I remember as a child when  someone would say my name wrong I would not correct them. I didn’t want to make them feel bad or embarrassed for saying it wrong so I kept quiet. It led to some strange situations when/if they learned the correct way to say it. And I would still feel deeply embarrassed. Now I immediately let someone know if they say my name wrong, no shame or embarrassment for anyone. My name is unusual. I love it and I want you to know this part of me.

It is interesting how things can change with time and age. When I was a young teen into young adult I looked much more composed, confident and stronger than I felt inside. It was a protection, bravado. In truth I was deeply wounded but I was not going to let anyone else know that they could hurt me. I wore the big bad mask and no one was going to take me down.  Love was stupid and no one was going to take advantage of my very soft heart.

Fast forward a number of years, okay maybe a decade plus, and now I sing a different song. I have been through hell and back, a couple of times. I’ve seen the dark night of the soul often enough to call it an old friend and I have learned that it is my love and my kindness, my compassion that is my strength. No more big bad mask. I don’t need to protect myself from anything because I have learned to trust myself and not to worry about trusting anyone else. I know I can take care of myself, stand up for myself and I know when to ask for help. But the most interesting part is that the kindness and compassion I show is sometimes interpreted as weakness. Either by those who are in the place I used to be or those who worry about people taking advantage of me.

Being this way can absolutely lead to being hurt by others. But the key – the difference – is that I am choosing to be kind and compassionate because I want to. I am not doing it for others to like me or approve of me so their response has no power over me. I am not attached. I do it because I desire, deeply desire, to be a kind person. Because I understand that is where my true strength is based.

And finally, a disclaimer, I am human and have not perfected the kindness and compassion in every moment intention. So if you see me in one of those moments may I ask for your kindness and compassion?

And Will The Right Way Please Stand Up?

I have recently been shown that there is a seemingly common Christian belief about God and it has brought up some questions for me.  I thought I would share them with you.  This belief seems to be that if you are not a Christian then you must not believe in God.  This assumption was brought up so naturally and without question as to indicate that there really was no other option. (I know that the word Christian may be interchangeable with the names of other belief systems but I am using Christian in my example because that is how it was brought to me.) I must admit that the prevalence of this belief still amazes me at times. How do these types of beliefs happen?  Where are they born from?  Why do people of many different religions believe that only they know/believe in God?   The rules, laws, dogma and stories of each religion may be different along with the name they give God but that does not mean others do not believe in God.  Many of the people who I know use names such as God, Great Spirit, the Universe, the Divine, or the Source believe in God but not necessarily the same stories that Christians use to define God. So in the eyes of many Christians that means that you must not believe in God because you do not believe in the religious structures they have created God?

Many of my friends and I do not identify as Christian and yet we have close connections with God. They are highly spiritual, intimate, beautiful connections.  We built and experienced those in the absence of a Christian belief system.  It seems to me that God is so much bigger than one religion or belief system can contain.  I do not understand why that is such a radical concept to many.

For the record, I personally support any religion or belief system, God based or not, that speaks of or teaches peace, connection, integrity, compassion, acceptance and love. But then, you do not need my support , you will and should believe in a way that comes from the deepest part of your being. And I will not discount it because I do not experience the same thing. Being human is difficult enough, I do not believe we need to judge anyone for how they identify their beliefs.  All we can really know is our personal experience.  If we take the time and space of our human life to learn and understand our experience, that may make us an expert on ourselves but definitely not an expert on anyone else.

In addition –

I wrote this almost a week ago and it just never felt complete.  I couldn’t explain why but I knew it wasn’t done. So, I sat on it, revised it and it still did not feel complete until a couple of experiences brought me some important awarenesses yesterday.  I am good with what I have written and I also realized that one of the most challenging things for me in regards to belief systems are those who believe that their belief system, whatever that is, is the only correct and real one. There is nothing in that that rings true for me.  And now I believe that one of  my assignments on this earth, if I am willing to accept it, is to initiate conversations around this very subject.

But then aren’t I trying to push my belief system on someone else?

Oh, isn’t being a human interesting?

Inclusion or Segregation?

I have become a member of some different support groups in the past couple of years.  I have also been doing more networking on Facebook.  For the most part these are good things because they have helped me to connect with others who have had similar experiences.  A sense of empathy is often inherent in these groups and the people in them feel safe to express things they feel they cannot to someone who has not experienced the same thing.  I have connected with some beautiful people I very possibly would not have met otherwise.

And

There is something I have been noticing recently, and that is how easy it can become “us and them”, those who understand and those who don’t.  We can start seeing those outside of our group as “the other” and talk about how they don’t understand, how they don’t know, how they don’t get it.  Anger builds, tension is created and I begin to wonder….

If we spend our time with groups, in person or on line, that only agree with us and share very similar experiences as us where is our opportunity for new experiences in life?  In our very human desire for support, empathy and understanding have we separated ourselves from others?  If we listen to one news station or only visit web sites that tell us how right we are, how can we be compassionate, tolerant and accepting of those who do not listen to the same people or visit the same sites we do? What if they don’t believe the same way that we do?

In this time of “too much information” and the internet, are we connecting world wide with people who agree with us and separating ourselves from our neighbors next door who do not?  And if all our friends say we are right, then we must be.  Which of course means that everyone else is wrong.  In our desire for support and understanding are we creating groups of people who can no longer even talk to each other because there is no longer a shared language?

I see this occurring in the political realm, in social realms, in spiritual and religious areas.  Are we connecting our way into intolerance?

And finally, as a spiritual being, do I stay where I am accepted and supported or do I put myself in situations where may not be?