My most trusty tool for learning to live beyond fear is mindfulness – practicing getting conscious of what’s happening inside and around me. This week I was conscious of the stars aligning perfectly for a vulnerable, freaked-out inner world, and true to form, my inner world delivered. I was a wreck for a good couple days.
Being on the other side of those emotions now, I’m noting a couple more things.
First, I feel ashamed when I feel really vulnerable and afraid and ashamed (yes, shame about shame!). Or at least part of me does. There are parts of me that trust deeply that all my emotions are fine and that it’s normal, in fact, to experience fear and shame and vulnerability. But parts of me are convinced that I should be able to apply these very beliefs in a more sweeping, feel-good way all the time.
Which of course could only work, as far as I can see, by suppressing a lot of what goes on inside.
The other thing I’m noting is a type of fertile ground in being-a-wreck-ness. When people come to the end of their rope, to the end of what they know to do to help themselves, to the end of their logic-mind having any say in how they feel, sometimes there’s a vulnerable humility that happens. A surrender. A release of all hope of control.
I hardly have words yet for what I’m intuiting here, but something about this place of raw humility strikes me as holy. Maybe the most sacred thing there is. A ground so fertile for trust to grow that I want to bow before it.
This is where we see our most raw need. This is where our hopes of paying for, or performing for, or being clever enough for, or achieving enough for, or being mature enough for – of having our sh*t together enough for – love are crumpled up and folded back enough for us to see the real heart that pulses underneath: the wish to be loved just as we are.
This is where the potential arises, too, to turn our eyes outward to recognize the unearnable, unloseable, unbearably real lovableness of everyone else, too.
However briefly our efforts at earning love stay crumpled, and whether these crumplings are met with recognizable love from others or not, I wonder whether it could transform our lives to see them not as evidence of failure or weakness or immaturity, but as moments of pure gift. Cracks in a facade that’s not nearly as lovable or relateable or hope-inducing as the vulnerable, helpless, bleating heart at pulse beneath.
This Ben Taylor song, Surround Me, could be sung by such a heart.
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