By Christa Chantelois BSN, MAC

Hurricanes, earthquakes, mass shootings, devastating fires, government upheaval – withdrawing and going inward are understandable responses to the threatening events of the past year.  Yet, if we are to live fully, we cannot stay in that small, self-protective space.   How do we then bring ourselves to opening to vulnerability and therefore courage?

Thomas Merton, a well-respected philosopher and Catholic Monk, stated that, “the only true joy on earth is to escape from the prison of our own false self, and enter by love into union with the Life Who dwells and sings within the essence of every creature and in the core of our own souls.”  Easier said than done, right?!  We begin within, where the core of our being holds the information and guidance we all are looking for.  This involves healing our seen and unseen wounds, shedding false beliefs, connecting strongly with our true self.

Among the many and diverse experts on the subject of healing, wholeness, courage and vulnerability the following suggestions appear regularly: spend time being creative, rest, pray, meditate, practice yoga, spend time in nature, seek trauma healing, receive energy work, surround yourself with healthy people, be still, seek social support, strengthen your intuition, let go of what others think of you, remind yourself that you are enough.  This is about a way of being in life; your life.

So, accessing our courage, paired with vulnerability, unlocks our innate ability to KNOW our strength, worthiness and love for self and all beings.

Leslie Stein wrote about Carl Jung’s creation of an equation bringing psychology, nature and religion back together emphasizing that as we become “more aware of the split between the spirit and the material world, the God-image or “Self” would become stronger.”  Thomas Merton encourages us to fully step onto this path of wholeness, “to hope is to risk frustration.  Therefore, make up your mind to risk frustration,” and “…to be heroically faithful to grace and love.”   Fruitful journeying to you!

Published in Nature’s Pathways November 2017