What Makes You Vulnerable Makes You Beautiful

August 12, 2012 Christine McDonald Animal ConnectionsEmotions and Animals

Sophie, our family dog, is lying quietly on the floor. She just turned eleven years old. Despite being in good health her hips are weakening and there is more effort in getting up and moving around. She is sleeping more and needing to slow down. Sophie is becoming more vulnerable to the aging process.

Brene Brown has an excellent 20-minute Ted Talk on vulnerability and I wanted to add my own insights as it has been a theme of some of my deepest processing.

Brown says being vulnerable means having the courage to be imperfect and to have compassion for yourself when life shows you just how vulnerable we really are. She goes on to say connection to our vulnerability results in authenticity, and what makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.

As I looked at Sophie I was filled with such a sense of gratitude for the animal companions in my life, and all of those I have connected with. What I have found in those connections is authenticity and an acceptance of vulnerability.

I connected with a dog recently in the later stages of transitioning. She had not eaten for days and was very quiet. Her body was shutting down. Every day my friend wondered if this would be the day she took her last breath. It took a lot of courage for her to let this process unfold in its own time for her dog. But she hung in there and when I connected with the dog I was surprised to feel just how expanded and light filled she was. There is something really profound about what happens when we let go of a body. Those last few moments can be very precious. You cannot measure it or see it and it is unique to every individual. It filled me with a sense of awe and beauty for life’s most vulnerable of moments.

I shared a draft of this blog post with my daughter and she said “you know growing up around animals has helped me be a better person. I saw animals be born, I got to love them, and I learned to let go when they died”. Animals can help us face our own vulnerability by mirroring our love and fears that arise in the cycles of life. The greatest opportunities for growth are with life’s bittersweet edges met with love and acceptance.

As Sophie continues to mature and she will push my families vulnerability issues. What I can trust above all things in that if I choose love over fear there can be no mistakes, just opportunities for love and growth.

What makes you vulnerable makes you beautiful.

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