8-4-2016 Vulnerability

UCE Addictions & Recovery Ministry
August 4 Agenda

Opening Words

Owning our story can be hard but not nearly as difficult as spending our lives running from it. Embracing our vulnerabilities is risky but not nearly as dangerous as giving up on love and belonging and joy—the experiences that make us the most vulnerable. Only when we are brave enough to explore the darkness will we discover the infinite power of our light.
Brené Brown


Welcome to the UCE Addictions & Recovery Ministry Group. We are a group of people who have struggled with our own addictions and the addictions of others. We hope to struggle well together as we work towards finding sanity, peace, love, and healthy relationships in our lives. We will strive to spend our time together in a spirit of love embracing the inherent worth and dignity of all. We accept and respect the varied paths that our members will take to find sanity, peace, love, and healthy relationships. We covenant to be together in a safe, confidential environment where we can explore our paths and our stories.

Our Relational Covenant

Embrace and practice deep listening
We will strive to be respectful of our limited time and try to keep our comments focused on the issues that have brought us here.
Experience the group in a non-judgmental frame of mind.
Build trust within the group.
Confidentiality about specifics shared or discussed is imperative for our success.
We each take full responsibility for what we share or say, recognizing retractions are acceptable as well.
Meetings will always start and end on time.


We are trying out having a minute or two of quiet time. Not yet sure where it will fit best.

Check-in and Processing of Check-in

Topic: Vulnerability

VULNERABILITY is not a weakness, a passing indisposition, or something we can arrange to do without, vulnerability is not a choice, vulnerability is the underlying, ever present and abiding undercurrent of our natural state. To run from vulnerability is to run from the essence of our nature, the attempt to be invulnerable is the vain attempt to become something we are not and most especially, to close off our understanding of the grief of others. More seriously, in refusing our vulnerability we refuse the help needed at every turn of our existence and immobilize the essential, tidal and conversational foundations of our identity. To have a temporary, isolated sense of power over all events and circumstances, is a lovely illusionary privilege and perhaps the prime and most beautifully constructed conceit of being human and especially of being youthfully human, but it is a privilege that must be surrendered with that same youth, with ill health, with accident, with the loss of loved ones who do not share our untouchable powers; powers eventually and most emphatically given up, as we approach our last breath. The only choice we have as we mature is how we inhabit our vulnerability, how we become larger and more courageous and more compassionate through our intimacy with disappearance, our choice is to inhabit vulnerability as generous citizens of loss, robustly and fully, or conversely, as misers and complainers, reluctant and fearful, always at the gates of existence, but never bravely and completely attempting to enter, never wanting to risk ourselves, never walking fully through the door.
From Consolations by David Whyte



I've learned that the more vulnerable I allow myself to be, the more in control of myself I really am.

Many of us feel that we can only show our strong, confident side. We believe the face we have to show to the world should always be one of politeness, perfection, calm, strength, and control.

While it is certainly good and often appropriate to be in control, calm, and strong, there is another side to all of us--that part of us that feels needy, becomes frightened, has doubts, and gets angry. That part of us that needs care, love, and reassurance those things will be okay. Expressing these needs makes us vulnerable and less than perfect, but this side needs our acceptance too.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable will help us build lasting relationships. Sharing our vulnerabilities helps us feel close to people and helps others feel close to us. It helps us grow in self-love and self-acceptance. It helps us become healing agents. It allows us to become whole and accessible to others.

Today, I will allow myself to be vulnerable with others when it's safe and appropriate to do so.

From The Language of Letting Go by Melodie Beattie


Closing Words

Summer Sabbath

Go someplace you haven’t seen before,
where no one knows you, where you don’t think twice
about what to wear, how you look, or who might be watching
as you let your body ease out into the sun and bask, lazy as a cat.

Untether yourself from the engines of busyness, one by one –
laptop, desktop, wristwatch, scribbled lists,
even the telephone,
especially the one you carry everywhere,
the little tyrant.
This will all feel unnatural
but it’s not.
Go and don’t think about time:
how much you’ve got left,
how to pass, fill, use or spend it,
whether you might accidentally lose or waste it…

Instead, consider your life –
who you love and why,
how blessed you are to be here, resting
under a shower of birdsong…

You might ponder these things, but you could also let
the whole creaking apparatus of thought come to a halt.
You might surrender, and let the world spill in
through the five gates,
no sentry standing watch,
no one left to resist or defend.

The innermost courtyard stands empty…
a clear fountain singing at the centre.

Rev. Kathleen McTigue



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