Being vulnerable is sexy. Divorce is not. Divorce is ugly. Divorce by betrayal is hideous. I’ve been having a challenging time being vulnerable as my divorce heats up. The Genius is returning to Marin in a few days. We will be sitting down with our attorneys to settle this nastiness once and for all. Knowing that has shut me down. I don’t like dealing with him, being around him and least of all I don’t like knowing that I will have to listen to him tell me to grow up, stop acting entitled, move on with my life. In the exact way he wants me to move on with my life. If I have a different idea as to how I should move on, table it. Just like my creative dreams. Just table it. I don’t deserve to have it any other way.
I’ve been building the wall for a few weeks now, to protect myself and insure that I remain steady for the boys as the seas get rough. (You can’t affect me. You can’t take me off my path. You’ve done your harm, you can do no more.) As a result I feel completely cut off from me. The me that has been gentle and loving and enthusiastically meeting all the uncertainty in my life. The me that has focused on setting the best example I can for the boys. The me that has fallen back in love with myself after being made to feel unlovable. I’ve been less patient, less joyful, less spirited. I haven’t been seeing the beauty around me, I haven’t been feeling the guidance of nature, I haven’t been seeing the signs.
Until three nights ago when I thought for sure I was about to be cat food.
On the hill behind my home is a woodland path that allows the many critters of Marin free access to all their favorite hot spots. I was sitting on my patio looking at a star (UFO?) that has been showing up the past 2 weeks, hovering just above the western hills that separate me from Limantour. I swear I have seen strobe lights, white and red, shoot off into the night sky from this star. It doesn’t move, yet the lights spin clockwise, more powerful than a flicker, slower than a police siren, and unusually bright given its location deep in the atmosphere, cradled in the inky blue blankets of the night sky. It shows up late in the evening and disappears without warning, well in advance of sunrise.
As I pondered this unusual visitor another unidentified being clomped down the woodland path, its table manners severely lacking as it smacked its lips, savoring whatever it had picked up along the way. I was certain it was a human kill and the critter was looking for something gingery for dessert. I had one eye on the star and the other was desperately trying to see the mountain lion – what else would it be? – that was 15 feet from me, hiding behind tree limbs and grassy fronds, salivating over my Swedish derriere. I looked left to the star, right to the lion. Left to the…
Holy arachnid, the star was gone. Not because of fog or cloud cover. But because I was about to die. At least that was the conclusion I arrived at which had zero basis in reality, but seemed to make perfect sense as I sat alone, chilled by the marine air, barefoot, clutching the seat cushion upon which sat
dinner my bum, clothed in a zebra print dress, the perfect skin to wear at a mountain lion banquet.
I was either going to be eaten or abducted, then eaten. I felt vulnerable. Finally, after days and days, I felt vulnerable.
In all the wrong ways.
That’s the problem with vulnerability – its definition:
Susceptible to physical or emotional injury, susceptible to attack, open to censure or criticism, assailable.
Might as well add, Out on a limb, over a barrel, a sitting duck, definitely headed for a meeting with death. One breath away from implosion.
I have to stop looking up definitions.
You, me and everyone who leans the way we lean talks about vulnerability as a gift. A way to go about living life that will allow my inner beauty to emerge, my authentic self to live large, free to be exactly who I am and not fear being judged or attacked or criticized for it.
Being vulnerable is a strength, not a fatal flaw. Perhaps it’s evolution that brings us to this place where what was once a predictor of death is now being suggested as the key to a fully lived life. We have the whole food chain thing down (well, we did until we started turning chemicals into food), so now we develop other parts of our being. We turn weaknesses into strengths. We go from sitting duck to open book. We move beyond the 5 senses.
However, I was back in caveman times, my feet pulled up on the seat of my chair, my eyes scanning the hill for the massive feline I was sure to find. And then I saw them. Two gold eyes, the shape of jumbo farm fresh eggs on their sides, staring back at me. I nearly choked on my tongue. And then I saw the shadow to my left. A hind leg. Tall. Uh-oh. A deer. I am going to watch a mountain lion rip a deer to shreds. I looked right to find the eyes and there they were. Piercing through the darkness. They hadn’t moved.
Which was a bit odd. I focused in on them. And then saw the door that they flanked.
I really do need to chill out.
The deer noisily chomped his way down the path, across the street and up the hill, out of earshot. The star didn’t return that night.
Today I looked up deer in the animal totem cards and found this:
Be gentle with yourself and others. A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born. Be aware of a gentle lure of new adventures. There is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors of adventure.
The gifts of deer bring us quick and powerful bursts of high energy. The key is to see life as play. Deer teaches us to get more in tune with our feminine, intuitive side and to develop long lasting, strong, and loyal relationships. There is also great fortune in romance at play, for deer medicine can fully open the heart chakra to gain great understanding through the lessons of love.
The deer in my back yard might as well have been wearing a neon sign that blinked Vulnerable. In red, of course. Innocence, gentleness, feminine…vulnerable.
Relaxed. At play. Living passionately and bravely, but also softly and gently.
I went outside tonight while writing this post. You’ll never guess. The deer was back and so was the star. I have no idea what to make of the star. I’m going Alien. But the deer resonates. I watched its shadow move down the path. He paused and tugged on a shrub at eye level. I turned to find the back porch lights formerly known as the mountain lion and had a good laugh.
Life at play.
Smiling, I sat and stared hard at the star. And then it hit me like a feather pillow. I’ve been feeling so upended the last two weeks because I haven’t been writing regularly. Which has loads of implications, one of which is having less of a conscious focus on being vulnerable. It’s here at HGM that I am at my most vulnerable by far. The more I write the more I process, the more I set free. The more I write the stronger I feel. The more I write the more connected I am to my 5+ senses and all the ways they are stimulated. The more I write the more happily vulnerable I become.
I like that person.
So I’m going to write more.
I’m going to write a book.
Just typing that makes me feel vulnerable. But it’s the caveman kind…gonna have to work on that.