A saying I ran across in the nineties while I was participating in a Human Awareness workshop went like this: Real power is based on vulnerability.
It sounded good, but I don’t think I really understood what it meant.
It’s so hard for me to be vulnerable, and maybe the only shard of comfort is that many other people feel the same discomfort with vulnerability.
And, it’s such a good thing to be vulnerable. There is power in it because a person who is willing to own their weaknesses has nothing to cover up or resist. The amount of energy that gets suppressed in stuffing down emotions or defending oneself is probably not measurable – just another subjective experience – but it’s got to be considerable.
I’ve had a hard time recently feeling out who I am now that I’m not teaching yoga. I wouldn’t say that I’ve been unhappy but maybe not entirely satisfied in my idyllic semi-retired state. A while back, I started to be a bit narky and provocative, especially in my relationship with Daniel. On the clumsiest level, by my unconscious and passive aggressive behaviour, I believe I was trying to bring up to the surface my true feelings: what if this all there is, what if I’m not able to find yoga students to teach again, who am I really, did we do the right thing in moving away from the city?
I don’t have the answers to all those questions, but I am more in touch with my feelings. What amazed me was that by dropping into vulnerability I fell back in love with my husband. Makes sense – he wasn’t the cause of my disquiet anymore.
I hope I remember that the opposite invulnerable is not weak. It may very well be affection, kindliness, and even love.