Facing Fear with Tender-Hearted Bravery

A spiritual warrior in the context of human bravery – living a life of fearlessness while helping others.

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To be a spiritual warrior, one must have a broken heart; without a broken heart and the sense of tenderness and vulnerability that is in one’s self and all others, your warriorship is untrustworthy.

 Chogyam Trungpa

courage dear heartIn her book Heart Advice for When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron explains the importance of becoming incredibly intimate with our deepest, darkest fears, this is the way of the spiritual warrior.

Yes, instead of running away from the pain that has broken our heart and our spirit – the secret is to become very curious and intimate with what irritates us, disgusts us, makes us angry, dissapointed and full of rage.

We are instructed to question everything, our righteous indignation, the center of our hopelessness and our blaming and disparagement of ourselves and others.

With tender-hearted bravery we begin to gently open our minds to everything, we crack open our hearts to reach the softness part inside. It is with this mindset that we may experience both the sacred, secure and goodness that happens in our lives as well as the painful, frightening and horribly uncomfortable.  So much so, that we reach the point where we are shaking with vulnerability.

I am the storm

Thinking about today’s teaching, I realized, I don’t have a single reference point for tenderness. I am just not a tender girl. I wasn’t raised to be tender. I was raised to be tough. I truly am a gritty girl. Spirited, independent and resolute. A girl with fortitude and moxie who is overly-determined to get her way.

no grit

work

Seeking how to become more tender, I go to the Google first to define tender visiting two of my favorite sites Online Etymology and the Power Thesaurus.

tender

Tender = soft and easily injured? Now that hits the spot. That really resonates. That explains a lot of the guardedness about me. The “cold” parts.  Who they hell wants to invite injury to the party? Who wants to be vulnerable to getting hurt even more? Not on the guest list.

This week and next, I am going to experiment with what it means to be tender for me. To be more sympathetic, caring, soft, warm and affectionate. Considerate, friendly and more loving towards others.  If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.

Until tomorrow – MJ

 

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