The Cloak of Vulnerability


January 18, 2017

Being vulnerable means sharing parts of me that I usually store away in the far corners of my mind-my wounds, my scars, my truth, my story. It can leave me with the urge to run and hide but with loving self-care, this urge usually passes. Sometimes though, the feelings of vulnerability don’t go far and, as I lay my head to sleep, they return. These nights my dreams are very vivid and seem very real. They involve many of  the people, places and things that were part of the wounding and trauma of years gone by. My sleep is interrupted and I wake often with all too familiar feelings of heaviness and despair. I await morning, hoping that the light of day will take it all away and it will dissolve as I put my feet on the floor to start the day. Today this was not the case.

As I got out of bed, I instantly felt the burden of the night’s dreams. These feelings, heavy and dark like an old winter’s cloak, were all too familiar to me. In that moment, as its weight pressed in on my body, my soul and my mind, I am scared the burden of this dark cloak is with me to stay. It is there as I make coffee and gather my things for my morning meditation, rituals I do in spite of growing skepticism on their usefulness.  As I settle into my meditation chair, I remind myself that the darkness, although familiar and so seemingly real, is not from today; it’s only a remnant, a left over, from the night’s dreams. Knowing this is not enough, it persists and tries to hijack my mind as I attempt to meditate and sit in stillness. I try to fight it off but it has strong power; it is desperate to stay with me beyond the night-time hours; it wants to secure a permanent home in my waking hours, overshadowing any threat against it from the powers of light and love.

The cloak tries to tempt me, weaken my resolve, with the strange comfort that familiarity brings. I dig deep to find the power to resist it and this is when a bright light shines on the new truths of my existence:

  •  I have the strength, courage and support to go into the day without the false comfort of the black cloak of despair;
  • I can shed the darkness and walk away knowing I am loved and supported by others, no longer alone.
  •  My Higher Power is crazy about me and only wants the very best for me.
  • The comfort the cloak offers is only a scam as it tries to lure me back to a place of darkness and hopelessness. What it forgets is that I know the hell of hopelessness; I have been there before and it almost killed me. I will not go there again and I will fight against it knowing my life depends on it.

I stand up and let the cloak fall to the floor. Stepping over it, I can see that I am wrapped in a very different robe, one of warm light and love; one that is healing and expansive rather than heavy and repressive. I will choose light and love. Love always wins. I’d rather win than lose.

Love and blessings my friends,

Women in Recovery Everywhere


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