One word keeps popping up in my thoughts. That word is vulnerable. What does that word mean to me? Many in our society view vulnerability as a weakness. I see it as strength. The ability to allow myself to open up to someone fully terrifies me. When you create barriers which are fortified with fear, mistrust and pain, the chance to have an authentic relationship with anyone, is impossible. The list of reasons as to why I am this way is long and steeped with raw memories. Keeping people at arm’s length made me feel safe. It is not a healthy way to live, but it made sense. Why open yourself up to hatred, pain, rejection, betrayal and much worse? When your journey encompasses so many of these hurdles, you either arm your emotions, or fall apart. I maintained a healthy gully between myself and pretty much everyone else on the planet. It is not a trait that makes me proud, but it is one that has saved my life on more than one occasion. My Mom’s passing caused a fissure in the foundation. I did my best to patch it up with denial, distance and disregard. I really did. If there was a way for me to nudge people towards a different direction, that did not include me discussing my emotions, I found it. I believed and still do to a point, that people do not have the emotional capacity to handle another person’s shit. My arrogance regarding that blanket statement is not lost on me. Who am I to judge your capability to empathize, or care about another person’s issues? I now know, and believe with every fibre of my being, that I am able to be vulnerable with people in my tribe. This group is small, but they are freaking powerful. I am usually in awe of their strength. Hell, they would have to be, to be able to put up with me. True story. Giving myself permission to be vulnerable revealed a level of love that confounds me. And now that I have felt the trueness that emits from that space, I never want to let it go.