Fierce Vulnerability is a concept that surfaced for me while in a deep state of introspection focused on identifying barriers that were keeping me from being my full true self. I was searching for answers to why I’d lost touch with the full range of emotions I experienced as a child. I had a strong desire to reconnect to the deeper levels of feeling that I knew I was capable of, and believed were in my true nature. While contemplating this, I became aware that what I was missing was the full acceptance of the fact that I’m transgender, and the integration of that part of myself into the greater whole of who I am and how I show up in the world. I realized that fear had led me to maintain separation between essential elements of who I am and, until I took steps to address and move past my fear, and reveal what was hidden, my ability to live an authentic life would continue to elude me.
I envisioned the effect of fear on my heart as a steel lockbox that shielded it from the slings and arrows that I thought would harm it, if left unprotected. However, I realized that barrier also kept the things that I wanted to feel from making it into my heart. The image in my mind morphed into a heart that was strong and resilient on its own without armor. It was capable of absorbing everything directed at it. I saw it being hit by projectiles that I feared would damage it. As they penetrated my unshielded heart, it appeared to be made of a malleable substance like rubber. It would expand to absorb the energy, and then dissipate it as it returned to its normal size completely unharmed. I felt my chest cavity enlarge in order to create more space for expanding my heart. It shifted forward in order to put my heart out in front of me. I understood that my heart is strong enough to deal with whatever it encounters, and that the best way to protect myself from the negative experiences I feared, and attain the authenticity I desired, was to open up my heart and let it lead me. My heart is my guide and my defender.
Since these first revelations, I’ve also envisioned my heart burning with an intense fire. This fire is a protective element that allows my heart to feed off of the energy it absorbs. It burns hotter and brighter as it consumes everything it’s confronted with. The fire also symbolizes passion for being the best I can be to myself and others, and fulfilling my full potential. Starting within, and radiating out.
To me, being fierce means to be bold and steadfast while embodying the fortitude to be unapologetically one’s self. Vulnerability is the openness that allows others to see and share in all of who we are — the unique, amazing, and beautiful aspects, as well as our flaws and weaknesses. Fierce Vulnerability is a theme that arose during my soul-searching journey, and I’m carrying it forward as I continue to seek an existence filled with an abundance of love, joy, compassion, respect, and reverence, balanced with the pain and heartache that are also essential parts of the human experience. Fierce Vulnerability is letting the light in while being attentive to the darkness.
I’ve created this blog to share my thoughts and feelings about Fierce Vulnerability. I plan to share what it means to me to live with an open heart at all times as I attempt to achieve this state of being. I will delve into topics related to my experience of being a transgender woman, but my aim is to provide content with substance that can resonate with everyone, and useful perspective for each of you following your own path towards self-realization.