We are born into this world awake, innocent, loving, with no defense mechanisms. Get the picture? By the time we are around five years old, however, we are no longer that. We have developed certain patterns of personality traits as defense mechanisms to protect ourselves from the outside influences that are unacceptable or harmful to us. And while these defense mechanisms might have been appropriate at one time for our comfort or survival, they become a major block to our fulfillment in life. Our ability to connect and form right relationship with life is a function of our ability to lay down our defenses and begin to form right relationship with our vulnerabilities.
The first step in forming right relationship with our vulnerabilities is to acknowledge them. They will be the lurking feelings of sadness and fear within us that trigger our emotional defensive reactions. The reason that many of us seem to become a bit manic depressive on our spiritual path to Awakening is because we think that Awakening and Freedom is somehow related to never feeling vulnerable, sad, or fearful. Unfortunately, one of the first signs of Awakening is awakening to the all the feelings and beliefs that we have been trying so desperately to avoid. The shift that Awakening brings, is that we are no longer defined by them.
We realize that we have vulnerabilities, but we also other qualities. We learn from experience. We have a good heart. We have the ability to grow and gain strength and wisdom. But, most importantly, we learn that we are not alone, ever. We are an interdependent part of humanity, and all of nature. We are part of a wondrous growing and evolving creation that holds great value and is truly loved. We not only exist in nature, but we are a part of it.
So, right relationship becomes an appreciation of everything as part of a changing evolving whole, and a recognition of our true self as an unchanging Spiritual Presence participating in the unfolding of a Greater Love. We appreciate the wisdom gained in suffering, and recognize that we are all children in the “I”s of God.