She wears her coat because it is hers. Because it has been woven over many years and changing seasons, threaded of hopes, sensitivities and dreams, and because she worked diligently and devotedly to keep it clean and in good repair to last through the many rough weathers and long freezing times.

She wears her coat because of how the wind wildly swung its hem across, and the brilliance of its colour shined against the forest browns; because of how strong its grip is on her shoulders and across her back to give her stability.

She wears her coat because it has quiet tears in the pockets, and threaded through her doubts and hesitations, hopes and dreams and joyful heart-full celebrations of her little successes along the way; because the dust, and mud, and dusk and dawn have all been placed there by her own hands and songs and prayers and trust and courage and endurance.

She wears her coat because it gives her the borders towards which to walk; the dreams she can cling to; the church to confess her own sins to; the embrace to allow her to see the sunrise. She wear her coat like a name, so that she doesn’t get lost.

She wears her coat because she can walk inside the wonder of it, and the wonder of it steps inside herself, its magic infuses her magic, its mystery gently touches her, and in that touch she reminds herself of the need to let some pages unwritten so that God too breathes, speaks, and surprises her with a miracle.

She wears her coat because in that touch of fur and skin, she remembers, she leans and she learns and she surrenders and she returns.

She wears her coat because there is power kept inside of it, there is memory of soul kept inside of it, there is wisdom kept inside of it, as ordinary as a pebble or a bean, as simple as moonlight or skin. She wears her coat because it is wide enough to carry her in all her doubts and sadness and uncertainties and fears, and still comfort her and provide her stability beneath heavens; because it is wide enough to stretch like wings and then wrap around to warm her like the hearth of a home, like the generosity of a stranger, like the kindness of nature.

She wears her coat because it is the shape and texture and temperature and all the complex shades of her. She wears her coat because it is hers, and do not ask her to take it off, if you are still wearing yours.

The power of vulnerability, and the respect that it deserves.

Inspired by Carolyn Hillyer’s passage on Why I Wear This Coat from her upcoming Book of Hag- Peat, Volume 2, I wanted to write my own passage above – to celebrate all that we are as women, and to honour all that we strive to hold in our fierce and tender protection. Love. Home. Family. Children. Values. Voice. Dreams. Faith. Sensitivities. Heritage. Soul. Heart. Mind. Body. Vulnerability.

The word vulnerability has become quite a popular one in our modern world, but unfortunately its meaning has been devalued, and its essence – misused and abused. Women’s emotional vulnerability in particular has been commodified, just like love, and that’s sad.

Vulnerability just like tenderness, just like love and home and family, are all to be protected and treasured because they are sacred to us. They are meant to be shared only with those worthy of our gentle sides, and of walking our inner lands within which our heart resides.

Vulnerability is what allows us to peel the layers of ourselves, take off our coats and deepen into intimacy and into love with another person – for there is no love and no real intimacy without it – deep love can only happen when boundaries dissolve and we become one. After all, intimacy means into-me-see, and to build true love, we need to unveil our true selves. But that’s something to be done sacredly and in the privacy that it deserves, only with those worthy of our trust and of our love.

It also needs the loving environment, because just as we protect a baby in our womb, just as we protect our dreams and heart’s desires, just as plant a seed in the ground, we need the right space to help it grow and breathe and be as it needs until it blossoms into what it was meant to be. When we share ourselves with another, with the intention of deeper connection, we need that person to be of open heart, of truth and of integrity, of trust, of love and of compassion, so that our vulnerability is received and protected and treasured as it needs.

So many people with kind and open hearts are being taken advantage of because of their ability to love, to be compassionate, gentle, tender and have the generosity and openness to support and help others. They have the ability to find love out of stone, water out of stone, and with the very little they were given to find ways to soothe your heart and cling on to just one kind word or gesture even though you gave oceans in turn. Eventually, when people take advantage of them, they harden their hearts and close off. It is needed for them to expect and even demand more in love, more from friendships and relationships, and not drain themselves dry and starved because they give more than being given in turn. Relationships are meant to be interdependent, and we need to receive just as much love as we give. Especially for a woman, she needs a man who can step up and be a man – trustworthy, loyal, stable, with moral, emotional understanding, integrity and values – before she chooses to unfold all her layers.

In fairytales, myth and lore, we often see the symbolism of the armour or the coat. The knight in shining armour goes into the enchanted forest to fight and conquer the dragon – and what this represents is his initiation towards facing his own inner fears and inner self, so that he can emotionally mature. Once he has conquered the dragon, he takes off his armour, to represent his emotional vulnerability and ability to unveil his heart and true self to the one he loves. Only then he can become king, emotionally mature, and be able to build a true heart connection and a love relationship.

The female initiation is different, as what the feminine learns is to make the dragon her ally. She learns to tame dragons, bears and wolves, how to understand the language of her emotions, and how her own body is an intuitive land and guide. She learns that she is in continuous manifestation as feminine energy constantly attracts towards itself all and everything – and so she learns how, when and what to say yes and no to. She learns to discern and protect herself from harm – because naturally her energy is giving and nurturing, and what she needs more of is protection and discernment that the wisdom of her heart and life’s experiences give her. 

And these are the coats we wear – which are not only our own but of all those women before us and the lineage of our soul and heritage. The feminine is the keeper of wisdom, and she also absorbs within herself all others’ pains present, past and future. As a receiving energy, she needs to first be given by her man, and only then she should unveil her self, take off her coat and dissolve all boundaries for union and deep love to be born with her partner.

The higher purpose of a woman is to guide man to God and to his true self and destiny; and the higher purpose of man is to protect woman and child and to provide them stability, honour and respect. This means that for a woman to flow in her true essence, as she is the waters through which the divine channels itself and speaks, she needs the stability within which to flow freely and give it expression. Whether with a partner or not, she needs to do this herself, protect her gentle sides, for these are the ones that are giving her life, strength and energy. Discernment is one of her greatest initiations of maturity; and self-knowledge is her first step in life, what will guide her and where her power lies. Her coat allows her the silence and time to know herself, know the earth, and know the cycles of the land that she herself is aligned to. Her coat should be respected, honoured, treasured; and this is where she nurtures and holds all and everyone she loves in her life. Her coat is needed for herself also, but she also needs to know when and for whom to take it off.

We live in a materialistic and almost dehumanizing society that swipes human faces on screens, and even art and culture are no longer inspiring nor uplifting to the soul. We live in a society that seeks to make profit out of vulnerability and feed on people’s energies for their own selfish benefits. Like the Little Matchstick Girl, there are so many women who give their very last match to another person only to then freeze alone in the cold without anyone to offer them hand or word of support. Harness your little fire, dear woman, nurture the heat of your underground, because you need to keep yourself warm also.

We live in a society of ill-intended people who make money off of vulnerabilities and exploit those who are in need. Social media itself encourages people to constantly expose their most vulnerable sides almost in some competition of “who suffers most” to increase online popularity, which unfortunately has created a lot of falseness. Meanwhile, the real victims don’t have their voices heard because there are too many who scream loudly of paper cuts.

If you have been through a painful or traumatic experience you need to get the proper support and heal yourself, and not put yourself in further vulnerability for the wolves to eat you, by sharing all your unhealed emotional wounds on social media or go on reality shows. You’ll only end up perpetuating your wounds and re-traumatizing yourself, and eventually falling for things and people who will harm you further. You need to take care of yourself. And you need to be mindful that there are far too many people with ill intentions who are only going to exploit you. You are not a commodity and please disengage from all that recycles you or sells or re-sells you on a soul, mind or heart level.

Many new age groups and teachers are also taking advantage of people’s vulnerabilities and it is so sad for me to see this spread like a virus. New age, new cage. The blind leading the blind. The spiritual concept of detachment has become spiritual bypassing, fake positivity and apathy, and self-love has become yet another disguise for selfishness and narcissism.

Society’s lack of integrity, lack of responsibility and inability to love has led the people with good and open hearts to close off. Because once they open up to the wrong people, their trust gets broken and their sensitivities get manipulated and abused. It’s like some Hieronymus Bosch painting of hell: a cauldron of misery within which boil the empty soul-ed people reaching out to be helped, only to then pull the hands of those good-hearted ones who reached to help them and bring them out.

Please be discerning, and honour and protect the sacredness of your inner circle, home and spaces. Honour your tender sides, honour the love you have to give, set boundaries and don’t let anyone to walk inside your mind, heart and spirit. Not everyone deserves to be let inside your world.

It is important to wear our coats and honour them and celebrate them. They served to protect us and our loved ones, to warm us and to support us on our walks through the forests and many changing weathers. We learned endurance, patience, strength, power, and courage. These coats preserved the lineage of our soul and we carried within them the wisdom of the ancestors. But it is just as important to know when and for whom to take our coats off also.

And when you meet the one for you, the one whose hands know how to hold you and support you, the one whose lips know how to comfort and encourage you, the one into whose loving wise eyes you’ll fall in understanding, pleasure and trust, take off your coat, and let yourself be stirred entirely by his wildish soul.

And when he asks to know you, unveil to him all, tell him.

Tell him your wisdoms, desires and mystical secrets.

Tell him not because – but because his soul asked you to.

There, two worlds will touch, kiss, two hearts will synchronize, two souls will merge, and of their love a new soul will be born: the soul of your relationship.

For more of my writings, browse through my Art of Love.

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The photography features folk and traditional clothing from my native land Bulgaria.

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