From The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo.
I drove 500 miles down the California coast with the mountains on my left and the ocean on the right. For days they spoke to me of standing up and wearing down. Of course, I was driving a road we have made down the middle. During the fourth day, the road became a ribbon. It was here it was most beautiful.
I found the world out there all in here, and now I know: The current of life requires us to stand up, again and again, and we are not defeated when we are worn down, just exposed anew at a deeper level. We are meant to live between the two.
In this way, life keeps getting more and more precious. It is a natural law like gravity or osmosis: Stand up to be worn bare. It is how everything in the way is thinned, so we can feel just how thoroughly alive we are.
Can you feel this truth in your heart? Being worn down time and again to stand back up. If we don't understand life’s rhythm we might resist, dig in our heels, strain or rail against. Or even give up, as opposed to release. Vulnerable is how Mark’s description of being exposed makes me feel. Being worn down akin for me to Brené Brown's descriptions of setting down our armor to rise undefended and let our true selves be seen. Exposing our tender hearts can be a gamble, and doesn't always turn out the way we'd like it to. But each time we sand down our coarse exterior, jettison a brick from our parapet, demolish a layer from our façade, we step toward authentic living. In this way practicing vulnerability is also an act of self-care. To feel thoroughly alive, we must know our preciousness.
Thank you to a fellow writing retreat member who introduced me to Mark's work, another treasured gift of attending a workshop.
More on Mark Nepo HERE.