I’ve been thinking about vulnerability lately, because I’m more and more convinced that there is no love, no life, and no joy in life unless we risk our deepest self with others.
Rilke spoke of the spiritual life as a “ripening.” When fruit ripens, it softens, and if you catch it at just the right time, it is delicious. But too much softening, if you will, too much vulnerability is not sweet. It’s rotten and destructive.
At what point are we being vulnerable enough so that we are open to novelty and intensity of experience and at what point have we become too vulnerable, allowing others to take advantage of us, hurting and exploiting us?
Take a Breath today. Humility is a good thing. Humiliation is an awful thing. Ripening is sweet. Rotting is repugnant. Recognizing the difference between the two is essential.