The Gate of Vulnerabity in Love

To deeply love, we must also be open to be deeply wounded. One can not love deeply without opening oneself to the sureness of becoming deeply hurt. To love deeply will require one to also hurt deeply. It is the wonder of love that it makes you vulnerable. To be vulnerable means to be open. Love lures us beyond our personal boundaries. It is the allurement of love that entices us out of our cocoons of isolation, and allows us to experience life. In the experience of life we taste and absorb experience as nourishment of the soul. Its sweetness and bitterness both alike enrich our being and creates depth to our insights and brings us wisdom that has grown through the tasting of life. It is through love that we realize the interconnectedness of everything. What touch you; touches me.

Not for one moment do I want to feel less vulnerable, than I feel in love. How can I regret being open, rather than closed in fear.

FROM David Whyte:

“We have the strange idea, unsupported by any evidence, that we are loved and admired only for our superb strength, our far-reaching powers, and our all-knowing competency.

Yet in the real world, no matter how many relationships may have been initiated by strength and power, no marriage or friendship has ever been deepened by these qualities. After a short, erotic honeymoon, power and omnipotence expose their shadow underbellies and threaten real intimacy, which is based on mutual vulnerability.

After the bows have been made to the brass god of power, we find in the privacy of relationship that same god suddenly immobile and inimitable to conversation. As brass gods ourselves, we wonder why we are no longer loved in the same way we were at our first appearance. Our partners have begun to find our infallibility boring and, after long months or years, to find us false, frightening, and imprisoning.

We have the same strange idea in work as we do in love: that we will engender love, loyalty and admiration in others by exhibiting a great sense of power and competency. We are surprised to find that we garner fear and respect but forgo the other, more intimate magic.

Real, undying loyalty in work can never be legislated or coerced; it is based on a courageous vulnerability that invites others by our example to a frontier conversation whose outcome is yet in doubt.

We have an even stranger idea: that we will finally fall in love with ourselves only when we have become the totally efficient organized organism we have always wanted to be and left all of bumbling ineptness behind.

Yet in exactly the way we come to find love and intimacy with others through vulnerability, we come to those same qualities in ourselves through living out the awkwardness of not knowing, of not being in charge.

We try to construct a life in which we will be perfect, in which we will eliminate awkwardness, pass by vulnerability, ignore ineptness, only to pass through the gate of our lives and find, strangely, that the gateway is vulnerability itself. The very place we are open to the world whether we like it or not.”

That which I desire most
I also fear most
Facing the Beloved
so utterly vulnerable
so exposed
so naked
am I

Facing the Beloved
I realize
the depth of my vulnerability

I know that my kiss
my embrace
my union
with my Beloved
will devastate me
rip away the fabric
of all I have known
fling me into the
chaos of the unknown
I will face the Other

In the face of the Beloved
I feel joy greater
than I have known before
yet I feel too
an ancient fear
I felt not even
in the face of death

 In the nakedness of my vulnerability
I can cling blindly to the joy
or in full awareness
of my vulnerability
with eyes wide open
surrender to the kiss
the call of the Other
not close myself
in fear of the pain
I might face
then I transcend my fear
my vulnerability
into the oneness
of being

Only when I release my fear
abandon my safety nets
that I can experience
the true freedom
of no boundaries

To experience the transforming
union of love
I must enter my vulnerability
in full awareness
look the Medusa
straight in the eye


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  1. #1 by Michael McKnight on April 23, 2010 - 11:33 pm

    Hi Sophia…. hope this finds you well!

    To experience the transforming
    union of love
    I must enter my vulnerability
    in full awareness
    look the Medusa
    straight in the eye

    So very well said Sophia……

    a relationship that goes beyond the Ordinary… that is profoundly caring, is resonant with meaning, and involves feeling of being truly seen and known.

    James Hollis talks about “intimacy” as an ongoing conversation.

    I find very, very few that seem interested in having the kinds of conversations that Hollis talks aboout
    . Most still run……

    “And you run, and you run, but the sun is sinking….”
    (Pink Floyd, quoted by you a while ago now)

    “Radical Conversations” as defined by Hollis:

    People assume responsibility for their own psychological well being

    They commit to sharing the world of their own experience without reproaching the other for past wounds or future expectations.

    Similarly, they are to endeavor to hear, without feeling defensive, the experience of the other.

    Commit to sustain this dialog over time… only full sharing of what it is like to be me and hearing what it is like to be you can fulfill the promise of an intimate relationship.

    Radical conversations can have emotional,
    imaginal, sexual and spiritual dimensions as well as verbal ones.

    Before entering this relationship… do you have the strength to withstand a genuine encounter with another??? Can you become that vulnerable?

    be well….mike

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