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❝ Healing is not born of vanity.
It is born of honesty.
Honesty is born of pure love.
And love is the most divine healer,
the sweetest, holiest and most effective.❞
~Val Kilmer

I have no regrets, nor am I embarrassed. I make no excuses, nor do I feel shame. Instead, I hold dear, and strive to uphold in myself, authenticity and honesty. These two take me by the hand and lead quickly to their cousin, vulnerability. It is through this triad that I bear witness to existence, though it’s not always painless.

Why is raw openness often uncomfortable? Perhaps it’s the visceral nature of baring oneself. It seems to me that our culture rewards an ability to mask feelings, stuff needs, and enshrine short-term protectionism. I increasingly find myself unable to buy into that norm. Instead, it’s by giving birth to opportunities for connection that my soul sings and the discomfort of exposure transforms to calm.

To be certain, I only share deeply in safe spaces, with people I trust to listen and speak from their heart. The more treasured the interaction, the more intimate the revealing, and the more enriching the kinship. I think we need more of that. In the honoured space of connection, made possible by vulnerability and openness, each person’s nervous system may settle to the point that we co-regulate–exploring and discovering with cherished respect.

Sharing what’s going on inside ❝ isn’t asking for problem-solving. It’s asking another to be with you, to hear, to witness, to listen in a deep way. That then allows you to feel heard and held.❞ ~Deborah Dana

“Say what you mean. Mean what you say.” This aphorism didn’t make a lot of sense to me for many years. But by becoming more conscious of the words I choose, what I’m seeking to articulate and clearly identifying the place inside from which I want to express, I see opportunity to connect, rather than isolate, with life and with others. I consciously make myself vulnerable partly because I can no longer abide the pain of separation, but also because I prefer to live with trusted allies and community.

It seems to me that the glory of meeting each other in clear, compassionate communication is worth a little risk.

✌️ ∙ 🌱 ∙ 🙏