In a world of wounds, how do we keep choosing to be vulnerable?

The latin root, “vulnera” means “to wound”, yet the path of not being vulnerable also leads us down the road of wounds. The road splits; the split end could really be the end. To close ourselves to vulnerability would mean lesser immediate wounds, but far more destructive wounds over the long course of life unraveled. Do we really even have a choice?

The path of avoiding vulnerability seems to make the noise, the reasons, the logic, the confrontation that much louder in my head and impossible to ignore. Love from the Past quakes from the ground, tearing and exposing the foundation that I was certain was cement to be truthfully sand, uprooting all of the lessons that I swear I had learned, pouring them from the sky to either let me watch idly—dumbfounded by the rapture of glitter in the rain or to catch the sparkle of experience in my hands, to recognize it all as a gift—one really big interconnected gift of pleasure mixed with some pain.

Loud, loud, louder, are you listening? Do you want to make the same decision twice? Three times? Nothing is a mistake, but everything is a decision. You also decide by not deciding. Avoiding vulnerability takes a winding path, burrows itself inside of itself feeling home, yet alone, tunnel vision blindly missing all of the landmarks, the aromas in the changing wind, the shooting stars and seasons under your lovers breath, the perfection of a tongue tied twisted kiss that fucks up your minds order of everything, but fixes the chaos that was already in your heart, the heart of everything—even if it doesn’t last—because it might not.

You don’t have to know—in fact you won’t—you will never know.

Do you really choose the path void of sunsets and perfect sunrises? Haven’t you missed enough of the suns bedtime stories and perfect cups of color in the morning already? Stop this nonsense—and no it isn’t too late—please stop saying that.

If we never test our vulnerability, we never test our strength either. When too much time passes and we don’t see our strength; we forget that it is even there. Strength doesn't work in an unwavering way. Strength doesn’t earn its medal and rest there. It goes deeper, farther, and builds itself because it falls, because it’s first hand experience with it’s wounds—it loses its position of power everyday.

As it should.

Strength needs humility to continue to be strength.

The falling isn't an obstacle, it just asks for you to keep finding new dimensions of inner strength and to stay willing. As you stay willing, you stay vulnerable, the truest and only test of strength. The willpower of love. Oh God, Love! If our vulnerability becomes a weakened muscle, overgrown with weeds and ligaments of fragmented heartache, pains of the past, easier and easier to ignore, thinking that we missed it—we will—we will miss all of it.

Choosing vulnerability or avoiding it becomes a habit.

It comes as a crossroads. It is a distinctive path and you will feel it. It will affect you. If it didn’t matter, and if it’s not truly vulnerable, you wouldn’t feel it.

What scares me more than choosing the vulnerable path, the one flowered with color, seeds of the unknown, blooms of kisses and misunderstandings, and maybe some future wounds…is to question what happens in life when I stop seeing the crossroads?

I don’t know how many quests for the real thing we are given in one lifetime, but I do think the mysterious questioner of the universe stops asking after too many of her own heartbreaks of you saying “no”.

Candice Hammack