Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.Love is not something we give or get; it is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves.Shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, and the withholding of affection damage the roots from which love grows. Love can only survive these injuries if they are acknowledged, healed and rare.
It does good to no woman to be flattered [by a man] who does not intend to marry her; and it is madness in all women to let a secret love kindle within them, which, if unreturned and unknown, must devour the life that feeds it; and, if discovered and responded to, must lead, ignis-fatuus-like, into miry wilds whence there is no extrication.
And maybe that was love. Being so vulnerable and allowing someone else in so far they could hurt you, but they also give you everything.
Vulnerability is the birthplace of love, belonging, joy, courage, empathy, and creativity. It is the source of hope, empathy, accountability, and authenticity. If we want greater clarity in our purpose or deeper and more meaningful spiritual lives, vulnerability is the path.
What it means to be authentic:- to be more concerned with truth than opinions- to be sincere and not pretend- to be free from hypocrisy: walk your talk- to know who you are and to be that person- to not fear others seeing your vulnerabilities- being confident to walk away from situations where you can't be yourself- being awake to your own feelings- being free from others' opinions of you- accepting and loving yourself
Why is female vulnerability still only acceptable when it's neuroticised and personal; when it feeds back on itself? Why do people still not get it when we handle vulnerability like philosophy, at some remove?
Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren't always comfortable, but they're never weakness.
Take any emotion—love for a woman, or grief for a loved one, or what I’m going through, fear and pain from a deadly illness. If you hold back on the emotions—if you don’t allow yourself to go all the way through them—you can never get to being detached, you’re too busy being afraid. You’re afraid of the pain, you’re afraid of the grief. You’re afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. “But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your head even, you experience them fully and completely. You know what pain is. You know what love is. You know what grief is. And only then can you say, ‘All right. I have experienced that emotion. I recognize that emotion. Now I need to detach from that emotion for a moment’.
Just as some people may conceal their own sinfulness thus seeming better than the norm, others expose their own sinfulness thus seeming worse than the norm.
It is simply a confession that with all that I've seen in the last few years, all the events I've been invited to, and all the people whom I've met, I am less and less impressed by impressive things or people who are presented as having things figured out. I am impressed by people who are honest and kind. I am inspired by moments of vulnerability, moments of confession and compassion, moments where someone makes it clear that they are a person in need of other people and someone else makes it clear that the first person is not alone.
Vulnerability really means to be strong and secure enough within yourself that you are able to walk outside without your armor on. You are able to show up in life as just you. That is genuine strength and courage. Armor may look tough, but all it does is mask insecurity and fear.
Once trust is built, distance cannot kill it. Time and space alone cannot destroy authentic connection.
It’s the hard things that break; soft things don’t break. It was an epiphany I had today and I just wonder why it took me so very, very long to see it! You can waste so many years of your life trying to become something hard in order not to break; but it’s the soft things that can’t break! The hard things are the ones that shatter into a million pieces!
Listen, Harriet. I do unterstand. I know you don't want either to give or to take ... You don't want ever again to have to depend for happiness on another person.That's true. That's the truest thing you ever said.All right. I can respect that. Only you've got to play the game. Don't force an emotional situation and then blame me for it.But I don't want any situation. I want to be left in peace.
What we all share in common - the real reason for this book - is a desire to love better. To love ourselves in the midst of great pain, and to love another when the pain of this life grows too large for one person to hold. This book offers the skills needed to make that kind of love a reality.
Later, you told me what your mother had said. How your father, the farmer, rose up slowly. You told me how your mother wailed on the other end of the phone, grieving her loss and complaining about the basketball of a goitre perched on her shoulder. She told you, your father walked onto the veranda and saw a chook floating ten feet above the ground. The chook didn’t flap a feather and just sat there brooding, swaying in the breeze.
No jewels, save my eyes, do I own, but I have a rose which is even softer than my rosy lips. And a quiet youth said: 'There is nothing softer than your heart.' And I lowered my gaze...
I honestly do not know if love vanquishes death as our traditional faiths teach but I do know that our vulnerabilities trump our ideologies and that love leavens the purity and logic of our beliefs propelling us to connect as the fiercely gracious human beings we are.
Obviously, a rigid, blinkered, absolutist world view is the easiest to keep hold of, whereas the fluid, uncertain, metamorphic picture I've always carried about is rather more vulnerable. Yet I must cling with all my might to … my own soul; must hold on to its mischievous, iconoclastic, out-of-step clown-instincts, no matter how great the storm. And if that plunges me into contradiction and paradox, so be it; I've lived in that messy ocean all my life. I've fished in it for my art. This turbulent sea was the sea outside my bedroom window in Bombay. It is the sea by which I was born, and which I carry within me wherever I go.
Some of the common occurrences of injustice are the presence of poverty, starvation, gender inequality, neglected widows and orphans and the injustice towards other vulnerable groups of people.
Let them see you cry. Let them see you sweat. Let them see you bleed. Those three drops make you human. Never fear to show your humanity. It’s the bravest act of all.
What was it about relationships that made you feel so vulnerable? Oh, right. A relationship. In any relationship, you put yourself out there. You exposed all of your sensitive nerve endings and your heart and you just had to hope that you trusted the right person.
Theres nothing more efficient than honesty and nothing more powerful than vulnerability because, vulnerability reveals everyone in your life who will abuse power immediately and almost irrevocably. Theres nothing weaker than hiding your vulnerability because, it means a refusal to stare at those who abuse power and see them for who they are which means they still have power and control over you. Nothing is stronger than vulnerability. Nothing more clarifying. Nothing is clearer than vulnerability, and if you hide who you are you are just making a tombstone of your everyday actions because you dont exist in hiding and you're letting the past rob you. Exercise the power of vulnerability. When you are vulnerable you are signaling to your system that the past is over and done! That you're no longer a victim! That you're no longer trapped in a destructive and abusive environment! vulnerability means it's over, it's done. The war is over but, if you continue to use the same defenses that you had in the past all you're telling your whole body is that the past is not over. Be vulnerable. Be honest. Be open and show your heart. That's the best way of telling your heart that the tigers are no longer in the grass. I'm telling you, just take it for a spin. Vulnerability and openness will get you what you want in your life and hiding will only get you the feeling of being prey from here until the end of your life.
I wanted, for so long, for someone to understand me better than I understood myself, to take control of me, to save me, to make it all better. I thought that the hardest part of a loving, mutually healing relationship would be showing my vulnerable, raw spots to a person, even though I'd been hurt so many times before. This has not been the hardest part. The actual hardest part has been realizing that no one, no matter how compassionate and kind they are, will say the perfect things always. Myself included. The hardest part has been learning to communicate what I need, to hear what others need, to tell others how to tell me what they need. Intimacy takes communication. A lot of it.We all have triggers. I don't know your triggers, and you don't know mine. No matter how much I love or trust you, you cannot possibly know exactly the words I need to hear, the words I don't want to hear, and the way I like to be touched.And how strange that we expect these things of each other. How strange (and self-sabotaging) that we refuse to get into relationships and friendships with people unless they treat us in just that perfect way. We've been raised to want fairy tales. We've been raised to wait for flawless saviors to rescue us. But the savior isn't flawless and the savior is not coming. The savior is you. The savior is still learning. The savior is never done learning. The savior is a human being.Forget perfect. Forget flawless. And start speaking your truth. Start speaking what you want and how you want it. And start asking and listening, really listening, to what the people around you say.Maybe, then, we will stop abandoning and hurting each other. Maybe, then, there's hope for us.
Love is not the answer, peace is. Throughout my whole life I have experienced and seen others use love as a reason to treat people with unkindness by being controlling, jealous, shouting in anger, and projecting guilt and shame. If you love someone but there is not peace in your heart when you think of that person then your work is not done. Do not stop at love, continue all the way towards the freedom of inner peace. Love starts when peace begins. Without peace love is simply a mask for our insecurity, judgment, and egoic attachments.
Be vulnerable! It is not someone else’s responsibility to break down your walls to get to you. It is your responsibility to let them in. This is crucial. Be more vulnerable with people in your life today. Know that being vulnerable is not a weakness – vulnerability means you are strong and secure enough within yourself to walk outside without your armor on.
Vulnerability creates unimaginable space to build each other up, as much as it creates ample room to tear each other down.
What are you hiding? Is it something from others, or from yourself. Find your truth. The more you show up, the more you'll be found.
There can be few situations more fearful than breaking down in darkness on the highway leading to Casablanca. I have rarely felt quite so vulnerable or alone.
In my work with hundreds of women over the past few years a theme has emerged: women’s desperate, unquenchable desire to step into their power, countered by the fear of what will happen if they do. The longing to express the riches inside them, wrestling with the deep terror of being burned by the judgement, hatred or rejection of strangers or loved ones if they do. This fear of being burned is an oddly female one. It is a fear which keeps us small and scared… but seemingly safe. From the outside this can seem like an overreaction. Both the need, and the fear. But women, it seems, have an innate knowing of what it means to burn… and be burned. They know the dangers in their bones. And it makes them wary.