Being in a body is incredibly vulnerable. Sometimes you think you are going in for a routine exam and then you wind up having a biopsy. A biopsy is defined as “the removal for diagnostic study of a piece of tissue from a living body.” My living body was cut into and a piece of tissue was extracted from deep inside and it’s quite different when it happens to you, when it’s no longer a concept.
There is something about having your body cut into or even having a few cells scraped off that is not only painful, but opens the gates to vulnerability. I am lucky (knock wood) to be able to say that I have not experienced a lot of physical pain although I’ve been alive for over half a century.
The pain of having my sacred nether regions biopsied triggered huge vulnerability for me.
There are layers to vulnerability much like there are layers to a parfait and as you experience it you encounter different tastes and textures. In the case of vulnerability it’s not necessarily so sweet and still there are different physical, mental and emotional layers— different states and qualities to move through.
I felt the vulnerability of wondering, “ was something wrong with my body, this body that is usually so solid and reliable?” After all, my body had pushed out a baby only ten years ago.
Hours later I could still feel the vulnerability of my sympathetic nervous system as my body continued to shake and shiver, not quite settled after ballooning out from the intensity of the pain that had caused cramping and felt like someone had stuck a stiletto blade into my lower back. It was a searing pain that made me cry out, my screams echoing into the far reaches of the room.
Though it was only 30 seconds, it was mind-altering pain. The physical pain gave way to an emotional layer of tender vulnerability and the recognition that I was alone without a hand to hold. The moment was so human. So real.
Embracing our vulnerability opens us.
Vulnerable. We are all vulnerable and experiencing this nightmarish pain made me appreciate all of the moments when I am not in pain. That said, pain or no pain every moment is a gift.
We are all living in the unknown. We may experience great good fortune or horrific disaster in any moment. Anything could happen to any one of us at any time.
What to do? How to engage with the unknown?
Be here fully. Embrace what is even if you don’t like it.
Dance. Sing. Express yourself.
Breathe in the fragrance of the night air.
This is your time. It’s all you have. Cherish it deeply. Give yourself to this moment. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.