As the New Year descends in to my life, I contemplate renewal. What wonderful things will I be able to experience in the auspicious year of 2012? For most, the New Year gives a sense of beginning – new goals, new ways, new directions, and motivation to start fresh – a clean slate.
I was at a gathering of friends and newborn babies became the topic of conversation. Several of the women voiced the age-old opinion of how beautiful infants are. The ahhhh’s and ooooow’s abound as I sat back and reflected how that was a feeling I had only experienced with my child and not with infants as a whole. The group I was in was very safe and I decided to voice what I had always felt and never expressed. “I think that newborns are kinda ugly. Really, if you consider the bald heads, beady eyes, flaking skin, crinkled up hands and feet, what is so attractive about the appearance of a baby?”
Taken back by my honesty, and willingness to offer a different perspective, one of the women spoke up, “It is not in the looks that the beauty is found but the innocence that the baby represents.”
My personal journey has led me to many places of feeling naked in my vulnerability but I had never considered the mirror newborns had offered me. Of course….the essence of a newborn is vulnerability, tenderness, unconditional love, innocence, openness, human existence in its most whole state, a new beginning. In the past, to move to a state of vulnerability, I had to admit that all was not “perfect”. I had parts of me that were shameful and I resisted disclosing these parts for fear of not being accepted. And, I have now experienced, that the opposite is true; sharing my vulnerability to those who are most important to me has led to greater connection. The added benefit was that by sharing I was also aided in the release of old patterns.
The question arose for me: What further about vulnerability had I abandoned in my life? I realized was that the part of me that could not connect to the essence of an infant, was the part not willing to connect to that vulnerable part in me. As the realization struck, a new perspective formed; the “ahhhhh” welled up in me. I embraced my vulnerability to an even deeper level and saw the beauty of who I am, imperfections and all. The tenderness of a newborn child took new meaning. I began to see the beauty of all infants, and indeed, all humankind.
Hiding behind a façade takes huge resources. It takes courage, trust and safety to examine and then reveal what is our truth. Although vulnerability is not always comfortable, it results in greater clarity and frees up resources to the pursue what is more authentic.