I recently looked up the word 'vulnerable' in the dictionary, and found none of the positive modern day connotations i was expecting or rather, hoping to find. Instead, I learned that it is merely defined as being open and susceptible to attack, or being easily hurt or emotionally wounded. In fact it's earliest definition from Latin, is, 'to wound'.
Yet, I hear the word echoed all the time as something to be desired, obtained and practiced... But why, if it is simply to invoke attack? What is it?
Simply put, it is transparency. It is the expression of present truth... whatever that is... whatever that looks or sounds like. It is exposing our inner world so that we may be seen, so that we may be felt and heard. It is stripping away the layers of fear and judgment that keep us separated from our brothers and sisters and uniting ourselves to them with courage by inviting them into our homes. And it is from this core place that we connect... that we recognize that we are not our conditions or our teachings, we are not our beliefs or our image... we are a common species that are all facing the same base emotions, the same instinct for survival, the same desire for love.
So i believe that being vulnerable is crucial... that it needs to be practiced. That it is worth talking about and writing about and opening up the gates to be attacked for. Because you may never know the extent of impact that expressing yourself vulnerably has on the world... but it is where true impact comes from... it strikes us not in an intellectual way, but hits home to our heart, to our core. When you expose your heart you build a bridge for others to cross.
So, here is my vulnerability, my truth...
I am scared. I am scared that only a few people will visit this site. That my work will go unrecognized... and that if it is seen it will not be taken seriously... That i won't be valued as an artist and that i will be critiqued and belittled for my efforts... I am scared that i will create discomfort in the people that are close to me with my work and that i will be judged and not be able to respond without reacting from feeling wounded or hurt... I am nervous about how much of myself i am exposing.
I am also overjoyed and anxious and thrilled and proud to share this work and make it public... I love what i have created here and feel so grateful that i have the opportunity and means to share it.
I have been battling sadness and wrestling with physical pain and mental anguish on a daily basis, in a way i never knew possible... There have been times recently when i thought the suffering would get the best of me... that there was no hope, and only despair... but i know now how untrue that is... and i know i'm not alone or unique in this... I have so many friends to thank for that, for listening, for being there for me, for creating a container of love and reminding me how grateful i am for all that i have.... but i also have this work to thank... So much of my pain and anger and frustration has gone into these poems... into these songs... they are me at my most raw. They are my true vulnerability.
So, I implore you to speak your truth... to express it in your own way... to share it and give out your gifts to the world... it needs them so badly right now.
And it may feel like you are just letting down the gate to open yourself to attack... but how else can you invite in peace?