Monday, September 20, 2010

Transparent vulnerability

When a blissful life is met with shocking hardship, there is a ripple effect out from the heart of that life. We are not islands with seas between us. We are all connected by love, and by pain.
I have heard that compassion is at the heart of Buddhism. When we feel another's pain, as our own we wish them freedom from "our" pain. It is no longer a singular pain. It reaches out into the lives of others. I watched this amplified within the tragic death of my Sister. As the hub of the wheel, all links to and from Kathie's life came through me.
I found myself trying to be strong for those around me. I suppose in some way this was controlling. I wanted to control the pain, control the loss, control others perceptions, control... control... control!!!!!!
The shear nature of suicide is in fact control. The victim is controlling the ending of their life. "Not another day God! The bus stops here." It is a blaring metaphor for the illusion, our minds would have us believe that the way to change, is through force. I know this is not only ineffective but diminishing to the opportunities life presents us.

Immediately following finding Kathie's body there was a slough of doings... closing accounts, contacting friends, designing the Memorial Service. For one month I was busy... busy controlling details. My heart was left in the thick fog of the aftermath of deep sadness. Literally left there to wait. Wait on the doings. Finally a month after I heard of my Sisters death I allowed my sorrow to come forth. I knew I had abandoned myself, and frankly even those around me. By hiding behind the control of my emotions I was not allowing the natural beauty which comes with observing the pain, and with being transparent for others to observe.

Transparent vulnerability was in deed a new concept for me. One day while standing in the kitchen with a dear friend, I lost all control. No more waiting for the right time. There it was spilling all over the kitchen counter like a flood of emotion. I laid my whole chest down on the counter and sobbed. It felt  as if at that point I didn't have the strength to stand up and cry. My beloved friend had seen me cry maybe three times and never quite like this. The wonderful beauty in it was when I was finished, I felt closer to her than ever. I felt I allowed her to see right into the deepest corners of my heart. I had hidden there, alone, for so long.
I know through my Spiritual work, and practice you can not be controlling and accepting in the same moment. I also believe, practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. With this I realized I was practicing isolation my whole life. Controlling , not allowing my loved ones to know me. Most of all not loving myself enough or trusting in my own natural beauty to live a transparent life.
This is a lesson I shall never forget. I now bring it into my work, my practice and my daily living.
There are times I am strong and there are times I am weary and being Human, Is a beautiful, fulfilling dance when we let go and move with the wind of changes in our life. Never has this been more apparent than now.


  1. I love this post!! Transparent vulnerability is a beautiful way to describe these feelings, and your breakthrough. I especially like the way you said that you were practicing isolationism. Bingo!! Wow, that one jumped up and slapped me in the face!! I've never thought of it quite that way before, but I guess I do that too. It's a form of self-preservation...don't let anyone see my vulnerability, remain steadfast and strong and they won't be able to hurt me. So very true, and such a very shallow way to live. Without exposing what lies within, we cheat ourselves of so many experiences and love that others' have to offer us. I agree (and love) Ray's saying about perfect practice too...we get so good at protecting who we really are inside, that very few people ever really get to know who we are. We become the losers and then wonder why we feel so lonely. Nice introspection my friend. Hope you are feeling better.
    I know you never met my beautiful little Nellie dog, but she was a blessing and a treasure. I loved her so much. Only lived 1 year, and I had her for about 9 months...but I was a goner. I fell in love with her, she was so important to me. I ran over her with Rick's big vet truck, rushed her to CVH praying all the way, but it wasn't meant to be. She had a collapsed lung and I had to let her go. Oh God, my heart is broken. I want her back so much. But, life just goes on, and we must too. Please take whatever time you need to heal. Fuck the guilt! It serves no purpose. I love you my friend...I look forward to spending some time with you. It amazes me just how much of our valuable time we waste being too busy for that in life which truly is important. Lorie

  2. Hi Lorie,
    Oh my goodness what a tragedy to lose your dear dog that way. Some lives are meant to be brief, and we who are left behind forever struggle from the loss. Many blessings to you . In hopes that healing comes soon and you will feel your sweet Nelie's love warm your heart again. Concho is still one of my great teachers from the other side. I am getting quite a collection of angels there! Know you are loved, and I appreciate you visiting my blog, and taking the time to respond with such feeling and heart. Winter is a great time to catch up with old friends. Come over and we'll have a cup of Chai by the fire..... Take care sweet friend, ~Mare~