Savannah Hanson: Power and vulnerability
“You are in relationship only with love, and so nothing will be hard for you.”
— A Course of Love
Boy, oh boy, duality is having a field day. As global tension seems to mount, it is so easy to get swept up into an us/them mentality. Currently there are so many dynamics of opposition. Political parties in opposition, people feeling either saved or destroyed by the inauguration, for or against masks or vaccines. As attention on fear ramps up, stress escalates.
For me the answer lies in the field beyond duality. It is time to stop separating and dividing but find a way back to connection.
Many are speaking of the arising of the divine feminine and the need to balance the feminine and masculine energies. Two of the qualities associated with the feminine are sensitivity and vulnerability. For so long these have been qualities that have been discouraged, particularly, traditionally, in men. Yet we see repeatedly an arising of extremely sensitive and wise women and men. Those who are willing to live with an open heart, those who may feel they have no choice but to live that way.
Yet on their way to this open heart, many will take an arduous journey through feeling like a stranger in a strange land, like they do not belong and feel isolated and alone. The feeling of difference may be so pronounced that they may become depressed or anxious, even suicidal.
Yet from what I am experiencing personally and see in others, there is tremendous power in the seeming paradox of vulnerability. So many feel disempowered now and lash out in fear. The last thing they want is to allow an exposed openness. Sociologist Brene Brown has researched vulnerability and explores it in her book “Daring Greatly.” She describes vulnerability as “uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure.” She elaborates saying vulnerability is when we step out of our comfort zone. Yet doing so allows us to explore hurt with compassion and experience new areas of thought and consider new ways of being and thinking.
I know many of us have felt outcast by our sensitivities. Yet increasingly I am certain that it is the empaths, the ones who feel like they are sometimes flooded by all the emotions and sensations racing through the body, that will be the antidote for these times.
Anita Moorjani has a new book coming out in spring called “Sensitive is the New Strong, the Power of Empaths in an Increasingly Harsh World.” I was so excited to see this book as it dovetails with my own direct experience. I see repeatedly how sensitives are so aware of energetic currents that they are generally kind and compassionate. These qualities are desperately needed in these times.
In my personal and professional experience, many empaths have wanted to jet off the planet. Trying to adapt to such an unharmonious environment can feel like mission impossible. Many have been perhaps almost comatose for long periods of time as they find a way to adapt to these current discordant, fearful and aggressive times. Yet what I am witnessing is a great arising of guardians of a love revolution.
I meet them everywhere and bow to their courage and willingness to focus on love in all circumstances. I feel their open hearts as a warm balm to the soul. I see the constant offerings of love and encouragement, donating time and energy to support the collective through these powerfully transformational times. I see people living in joy regardless of outer circumstances, choosing connection and generosity. As Joseph Campbell said, “Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.”
A personal experience. Last week in a shadow workshop, I cried as I revealed a tender childhood wound/shadow of growing up in an emotionally cold atmosphere. A man in the group told me he judged me for this, being so emotional. I was absolutely floored and devastated as this was the lament of my parents. I was raised in a family of seemingly completely unemotional beings with the exception of rage. So to have this childhood wound again leveled at me was deeply triggering.
I felt judged for my sensitivity. I sat and sat with the grief of not being held or understood, comforted when I had such big emotions as a child. While I agree I can be overemotional, the longer I sat with it the more the power of vulnerability arose viscerally in my awareness. While there can be plenty of shadow, overall the ability to share authentically with an open heart, willing to expose wounds and uncertainty in the interest of connection to me is a great strength. If we would choose to do this as a species, war would be constitutionally impossible.
I meet with a group of amazing women who with their own gentleness and courage, support me in my commitment to owning the inherent power I am discovering in vulnerability. It feels like a holy grail.
The shadow workshop incident turned out to be a catalyst to claiming the power of sensitivity, of a continuing willingness to expose sadness, grief, inner uncertainty as well as joy and celebration. Imagine we all are emotionally intelligent and willing to share authentically. What a wonderful world it would and will be.
For information on private sessions, Wild Hearts online group or to schedule a free 20-minute consultation, contact Savannah Hanson, M.A., MFT #40422 at 530-575-5052 or RisingasLove@gmail.com.
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