It can be a place of deep power
a place of calling on support,
a place of offering others permission to open up, to relieve themselves of the mask they wear and to own their fragility
this is the power of vulnerability
the power that comes from owning vulnerability as a choice
a badge of courage.
There is another kind of vulnerability however
the vulnerability that occurs when power is taken away from another,
taken away in an acknowledgment of weakness, an acknowledgment that one party has less than the other,
it is a vulnerability born not of human connection but of human disconnection.
It is born when people are placed outside of their gifts, seen out of their entirity and out of their integrity
and seen as less than
seen as a collection of defects
i watched my beloved Grandfather go from a man i truely admired - a man of depth, courage, intelligence and wisdom
to a tiny little old man- just by the way a nurse spoke to him (as though he was deaf and a bit thick)
that was years ago and the memory of that always served me when i worked as a nurse - giving people credit for having accomplishments and stories and being something more than what i saw lying there in there bed
and then i saw it happen again to my Dad
i watched him become vulnerable to the perceptions of others, to the rigors of pain, to the weaknesses of others all because of and accident
'i watched this man that i love (and lord knows i see his flaws) become subject to the whims of whoever was supporting him in his vulnerable state that day...
all of us become vulnerable at one time or other - through accident or choice the difference is in where the power lies...