Saturday, March 14, 2020


Vulnerability is not a weakness, a passing indisposition 
or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice,
 vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent
 of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence
 of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt
 to become something we are not and most especially, to close off 
our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously,
 in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn 
of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational
 foundations of our identity.

To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events 
and circumstances, is a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps 
the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human 
and especially of being youthfully human, but it is a privilege
 that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, 
with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share 
our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically
 given up, as we approach our last breath.

The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability,
 how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate 
through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability
 as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, 
as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates 
of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter,
 never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.

~ David Whyte
from Consolations:The Solace, Nourishment and 

Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words