Vulnerability

by Tom Swift

In every interaction you have with another human being — doesn’t matter who — you always have two main choices.

(The keyword is choice.)

One choice usually leads to logical (boring) interaction, politeness, formalities. And, more importantly, a lack of connectivity.

The other usually leads to interesting discussion, love (yes, love), aliveness, friendship, gift-giving. And connectivity.

In every interaction you are either giving somebody else your mind — your intellect, your intelligent points, the who/what/where/when/why of your existence.

This is the easy thing to do. The safe thing to do. It doesn’t require much, if any, emotional strength or really expose who you are. In this way, you can hide from others (or from your self, depending on how you look at it) and not risk rejection by not even giving somebody the chance to reject you.

Or, you are giving somebody your heart — the real you, your presence, your true attention.

This is the hard thing to do. The risky thing to do. It involves an enormous amount of emotional strength (until it doesn’t). It entails entering the present moment. And it entails pushing through the challenging and stifling fear of doing so.

Instead of thinking about what to say or do, you let your inwardly felt experience inform your words and actions toward others.

Think about how often you self-censor and hit the mute button. Why? Why not just assume that what you have to say is valuable, even if it comes out not so smooth? Then maybe you say next, “oh, that was lame” and then laugh.

It’s this kind of moment-to-moment truthfulness that is required.

It’s so easy (but frightening) to practice because you always know what to say or do in any interaction with somebody else. The problem is having the courage to act on it.

-Christopher Lowman, “Giving Somebody Your Heart,” Awakin.org, 10-11-2011