We tend to define vulnerability as a weakness, something to be avoided at all costs. If we are vulnerable we are undefended and able to be hurt. If we show vulnerability we reveal we aren’t in control. In response to what we have learned in our culture that promotes, ‘I’m fine, I’m strong’ we put up armor that doesn’t allow anyone or anything in. We’ve put up walls to hide our innermost secrets and lies, our insecurities, our facades to the world. We’ve even built walls hiding deception to our own selves.

Avoiding vulnerability is a separation from others including the Gods. When you lose your ability to be vulnerable to others, everything you do becomes calculated. Even love and sex become items to be consumed rather than lived and shared. The invulnerable person can't be happy even in small ways. ¹ The invulnerable person may think they are strong but it is at the cost of an inner depression, a blurry pit that only guides one into loneliness and personal torment.

Vulnerability is about being open to love and new experiences. It’s about taking risks. It’s about being able to let go and say ‘I trust you. I trust that you won’t hurt me. I trust that we can love and share.’ It’s about starting to peek out from that armor, slowly removing piece by piece and shining our soul to the world. It’s about honoring another with our true selves, our thoughts and feelings.

Does this mean blurting out our innermost secrets to any and every one? No. True sharing of self requires a conversation. This is not only a sharing but a listening that in our fast paced internet MySpacing, texting, Facebooking, blogging society we’ve forgotten. We need to re-engage in reciprocity. Relearn how to communicate with others. Re-invent the afternoon coffee klatch, re-acquire a hankering for the old fashioned phone call where we hear each other’s voice.

This makes us stronger. It’s not a strength based on a power over others, it’s a strength based on a power shared, a power with others. A strength built on trust and rapport, two open to each other. A strength built on shared, reciprocal vulnerability.

In context with spirituality, I am strongly convinced vulnerability is a requirement to being able to sense, feel, or have contact with our Gods. Without letting go of that self defensive armor we can’t open up to the experience of our God/ess. We can’t let them into our hearts and souls. Sure, a God can bust in but generally they don’t. That would be akin to spiritual rape, our Gods aren’t cruel. They will patiently coax and wait, guide and steer us towards opening up chinks and finally dropping huge panels of that wall we’ve built. The initial open chink the Gods peek through may make us feel as though They have busted in but only because we aren’t comfortable with even the whisper of vulnerability.

I read a simile I’ll share here. Vulnerability can be illustrated by a tortoise. The tortoise is you with a shell of Armor. When scared, whether actually in danger or not, the tortoise tucks into its shell and waits. Who knows what wonders and joys the tortoise may actually be hiding from.

But if the tortoise is turned upside down it is vulnerable. It waits, hoping and trusting that someone will come along and help. In a sense, the tortoise desperately wants to say, ‘I trust you. I trust you with my vulnerability. I trust you to help.’ Most who pass by will help.² Most certainly those deserving of your vulnerability will. Your Gods definitely will.

Does this mean you’ll never be hurt? No. You will be hurt. Life hurts. I counter that we take a chance every day driving to the store to get that junk we don’t really need. Driving is one of the most dangerous things one can do- often just for snack food. Why not take that chance, with someone or a God who you intuitively know you can trust, when the rewards are so much more than a bag of Doritos? Use vulnerability wisely is the phrase here to remember.

The Gods are honored when we trust them enough to show our vulnerability to them, our innermost selves. Other people are also honored when we do such. You and they become empowered. This is willful vulnerability. Do you want to have a better sense of the world, a greater feel for the spirituality available to us? Show your vulnerability to others, give your vulnerability over to your Gods.

1 T. Byram Karasu, M.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-mystery-happiness/201101/psychological-vulnerability-is-gentle-strength

2 http://www.guidespeak.com/printable.php?id=4976 

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