The Vulnerability of Receiving
When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known
When I was a little girl and would come home from a long journey, my grandmother always made me my favorite foods. “You must be hungry from the long road here,” she would say. And sometimes I would get annoyed at her because all I wanted was some peace and quiet – and not being overwhelmed with attention (yes, I was always like that!) – yet she always knew what I liked to eat. Because that’s what your home is. That’s what your family is. They know exactly what you need.
In this morning’s yoga session, these words suddenly came to me: vulnerable to receive. Vulnerable to receive.
And suddenly it was as if the blinds had fallen and everything became crisp and clear. In order to receive my gifts, I had to be vulnerable. Being receptive is being vulnerable, because you admit a sense of lack, of want.
But that was why! I exclaimed.
I have often wondered why my story of New Orleans had such a weird twist. Why I waited my whole life to get there, why did I finally arrive in a state of such profound loss and grief, the first time in my life I was actually not ashamed to cry in front of a stranger, why my whole life became transformed around this trip…
In the 24 hours before me finally leaving for the US, for the first time in my life, two things happened, one was extremely uplifting and another extremely heartbreaking. One about acceptance, another about rejection. Both had to do with my soul and a sense of belonging. But because both were deeply private – one religiously private, the other intimately private – too much would be misjudged and misinterpreted if I were to go into details. Suffice it to say that in the morning I had experienced a profound miracle – and in the evening I was crushed. Those were two sides of the same coin, yet not connected to each other. Accepting who I was and being shown who I really am were part of the experience. But for the first time in my life something had actually got to me.
And now, today, I understood why. Because only in this way could I receive the amazing gift that New Orleans had for me – my intuition, my sensitivity, my soul awareness and my sense of purpose. My answers. My clarity. To receive it, I had to be vulnerable. To receive it, I actually had to be crushed.
In the same week I was in New Orleans for the first time, two deaths had occurred. The person from the heartbreaking side of the coin story had lost his father – and the neighbor in whose storage space I left some of my stuff back in Norway had passed away. The things in her storage included my childhood diaries left there for whatever reason, and china that I took such efforts in bringing over from my original home in Latvia. All was gone eventually, not that I even miss it now, on learning this. But the only person in the building of 65 apartments whom I asked for storage space was also the only person in the building who had died, at the age of 60-something.
When I first arrived in New Orleans and started finding places without a map, going where my legs took me, or actually following the feeling of high euphoria that would sometimes overtake me in the middle of the street (I don’t use drugs, no worries here…) the thoughts about soul came quite quickly. A soul knows its home… I dismissed them. I didn’t believe them. All my life, from childhood, I felt I never belonged. All my childhood diaries were filled with that longing, for a home. Incidentally, I learned of New Orleans when I was six and decided I had to go. Incidentally, thirty years later, New Orleans had given me the absolution and the blessing I was looking for for half of my life, in the form of a man standing outside a bar on Bourbon street, with him fist to his heart… I knew then that I was home. Because home did not judge me – but healed me.
And yes, it was a long road. And I was tired. And I ate all the food I could eat.
But now I know why all the things from the place where I was born were somehow put in one storage space – and were gone entirely the week I first came to New Orleans.
Dare to be vulnerable to receive.