Vulnerability — Are We Willing?

Cindy Reinhardt
3 min readOct 25, 2023
Ziggurat on a Hazy Morning

When you become vulnerable, any ideal of perfect image you may have had of yourself falls away. Many people are addicted to perfection and in their pursuit of the ideal they have no patience with vulnerability. They close off anything that might leave them open to the risk of hurt. … With the revelation of corruption in so many political and religious domains, our perception of ideals has become tinged with cynicism. Yet no society can endure without the sense of honour, dignity and transcendence enshrined in its set of ideals. John O’Donohue

Writing in my journal several days ago I found my thoughts wander to the current array of political theatrics in the United States. ‘How do they get away it?’ I wondered, ‘they’ not being limited to a single political party or group, rather many elected officials and those who serve them. The ways of politics have become habitual rather than thoughtful, and we have become accustomed to ignoring them or watching as if they are entertainment. Disengaged. Enraged.

The journal stream ended with these words: Beyond blaming the other, we must face ourselves.

Reading O’Donohue’s words early this morning by the fire, the stream came back. It continued: And to face ourselves requires that we become vulnerable.

The absence of our openness to vulnerability breeds fundamentalism, self-righteousness, blame, and hard-heartedness. We fight and die to stave off the threat of being vulnerable.

Opening to vulnerability nurtures an open heart, compassion, curiosity, understanding, forgiveness, and creativity. Vulnerability is a pathway to peace.

What does vulnerability ask of us? What doors might more willingness to become vulnerable open for us, individually and collectively?

I’m reminded of an essay Charles Eisenstein posted earlier this week (click here to read) sharing the story of Raquel who dared to take a peaceful stand around a contentious, divisive issue and the stages she traveled to arrive at that place. I invite you to read it with an open heart and open mind, for surely like me, you find yourself on one side or the other of the issue she faced.

What if our political leaders could exhibit Raquel’s level of maturity, thoughtfulness, willingness to be vulnerable as they address issues of war? How can we create and hold this space, this possibility for them to step into? Are willing to step into this space ourselves? Are we willing to invite them?

O’Donohue’s words opened me to possibility. They point to the tricky, challenging path that making peace requires. Moving beyond blame to face ourselves and our shortcomings (past and present), forgiving ourselves and others. All for the sake of peace.

Simply asking the questions helped me shift from the anger, sadness, and disbelief at the continued war-mongering choices of my country’s leadership that I woke with this day. No matter what the question, war is not the answer. Love is. Am I willing to step into the vulnerability of that? Are we?

Cindy explores the practical application of mysticism, reflects on life, writes, takes long walks with canine companion Zadie Byrd, and stewards a small property at 8000 feet in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains of Southern Colorado. In the midst of the changing environment of a chaotic world, each week Cindy invites Muse to explore how to navigate these uncharted waters and how to live a life aligned with our highest values in her blog at www.cindyreinhardt.com/blog

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Cindy Reinhardt

Life is learning to navigate on the planet. Experimenting is key! Master Coach-Writer-Mystic-Dog Lover-Nature Lover.