The Necessity of Vulnerability for Being Loved Deeply and Loving Deeply

Soulful intimacy is a gateway into the sacred realm of human and divine love.
~~ Richard Rohr , February 22, 2022

Workshops I, II and III

Here we sit, human, all of us wounded in our humanness.  All of us, having more or less lost touch with our deepest nature, our Essence and the gift of our profound capacity for loving. According to the Enneagram, the inevitable failures of our early environments wound us and we come to protect our hearts in 9 different ways. 

We close ourselves to ourselves, to what is too painful to feel, to what we fear or believe might be true of us and of life.  We judge ourselves, we forget ourselves, we compensate with idealized versions of ourselves.  We forget to love ourselves or feel we cannot.

Finding fault with ourselves, fearful of facing truths about ourselves we cannot accept, we don’t risk letting others know us either, really know us.  We do not dare let ourselves be vulnerable.  We project an image for others to relate to us through.  And we miss the opportunity to be known and to know ourselves truly through the loving eyes of others.  We deprive ourselves of a significant part of the beauty of what it is to be human.

And, caught in our narrow, self-protecting, self-projecting experience of reality, we find it difficult to see how the traumas and tragedies we see all around us are possible, if the Divine, if God, is love.

How can this be so.  Many of us lose trust and our faith that love is a fundamental dimension of Reality. 

There is a constant invitation to return.  And we can, through the unsettling and courageous dance that is risking being vulnerable, risking being vulnerable with ourselves, with another or others, and with the divine.  All these loves are inseparable, each nourishes the other.  If we are willing to risk honesty with ourselves, in time it helps us love ourselves and in turn to be more open to others and to the divine love that accepts us just as we are.  To be in intimate relationship without defenses and to experience being loved by (an)other(s) helps us love ourselves and to open to a more expansive love for all that is.  To open to our essence and the divine within us opens us to loving ourselves, others and all of reality, as imperfect as we all are. 

It is not a straightforward dance.  We open, and then unsettled, we close a bit, then go forward and then back. – the very natural process of expansion and contraction, the same as when we breathe or our heart pumps blood.  As the back and forth of this dance unfolds, we open more and more to being present in each moment, filled with awe and able to love without expectation or fear of what is or will be.  This is to love fearlessly. And it is a life giving joy.

I am offering a 3 part series so that we can take steps on this journey together, be vulnerable together.  We are each at a different place on this journey.  So, these times together are meant to be steps, each a moment that, in nurturing our courage, can be part of the longer arc toward love.  In each, we will be deepening our capacity to be present in the moment and receptive within an inner stillness, helping us be with our own and others’ truths.  I am not suggesting that this will be easy, only that it is important, especially in these times, and that we can do it together!

Workshop I.  Vulnerability with Ourselves as a Path to Self-Love: Working non-judgmentally with the insights of the Enneagram can help us be gentler and more compassionate with ourselves.  When we do this held by each other within a sacred time and space, we can can, over time, find a deeper acceptance and love for ourselves and then, almost magically, for others.

Workshop II. Being Vulnerable with Others Allowing Ourselves to Be Deeply Loved:  Risking speaking our truth in the moment, being vulnerable in the moment, and being held lovingly in that moment, can be deeply healing.  A space filled with the possibility of being loved as we are can help us risk.  Doing this together, being  vulnerable in community, can help us lower the walls we all have protecting our hearts. It is a difficult step that, if consciously taken, can be very hopeful and inspiring.

Workshop III. Allowing Vulnerability to Open Us to the Ever-Present Flow of Love:   Feeling accepted and loved by others and by ourselves opens us to a flow of sacred love. Opening to the flow of divine love opens us to loving ourselves and each other with more grace – a complimentary,  simultaneous and mutually reinforcing embrace.  We will touch into these possibilities together.