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From the moment I was aware of my imprisonment I knew I had a choice: I could become hard-hearted or I could be vulnerable. I could harden myself in an attempt to avoid further suffering. Or I could remain vulnerable and enjoy life.
So many vulnerable creatures become victims. I was determined not to. I am vulnerable. But I am not a victim. What is it about vulnerability that attracts the violent? Some want to take advantage of it and steal from it. Like this small baby seal. It is completely vulnerable and helpless. So the violent would come and take what is valuable from it.
Others just despise vulnerability. They are repulsed by it and so want to hurt it. They disdain vulnerability and therefore treat it with disdain. They fall upon it because they can't stand weakness either because they are confused by it, frightened by it, or threatened by it.
To learn how to be vulnerable is going to be a lifelong challenge for me. But I do not want to do the opposite and get hard-hearted and fearful. I know my life has been hard. I know I've been mistreated. I know I've been victimized. But I don't want to make life hard for someone. I don't want to mistreat others. I do not want to victimize the vulnerable.
Sometimes I picture myself at the end of my life. Perhaps even on my deathbed surrounded by family and friends. I imagine myself with my heart completely free of resentment where not one grudge remains. I imagine myself extending my love and forgiveness to every person who ever was and is in my life, and receiving the same from them. If they wish. But whether or not they extend their love to me, it will not change my heart's resolve to love them and accept them and include them in my story. This is how I picture being vulnerable. That's powerful!