‘…their virtues make them vulnerable…’

My buddy Zach posted the following quote on Facebook this morning, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since:

“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.” — Ernest Hemingway

There are pieces of it that remind me of the ‘tortured artist’ theme, and that made me think of something my buddy Shane said a few years ago:

“Creative people beat themselves up a lot… we are sick individuals. Nothing is ever good enough. There’s never enough time… We’re super sensitive because we have to absorb the world’s pain in order to make something we think is beautiful.”

When reading the Hemingway quote, I searched for it to see what came up, and I found a blog post that talks about it. It’s my first time coming across that blog, but there were a couple of things said in there that stood out:

“Because even when the best people are wounded or destroyed, the story doesn’t end there. Their sensitivity, courage, diligence and sacrifice live on, a legacy to all who were blessed to know them.”


“We can make time to appreciate something beautiful each day. We can reach out to others even knowing they may reject us. We can be honest even when it’s difficult, and we can, at least some of the time, put someone else’s needs before our own…”

For me, I think all of this goes toward something I’ve posted a lot about on here over the past few years: authenticity.

Authenticity can be difficult because it is vulnerable, and that’s not always accepted by people. And I’ve said this before – I’m lucky that I have people in my life that accept me for me, not for some made-up version of who they think I am or have the capacity to be.

This tortured artist cried in front of two close friends recently. My song lyrics are deeply personal. I put my whole self into my artistic endeavors. It is vulnerable. It can be painful. And I’m on a journey learning new things and focusing on some recent experiences that words fail to explain. And the people in my life have shown up without judgement and made me feel loved and seen. And I can’t thank them enough for that.

I hope to be one of the “best people” that Hemingway talked about. That’s the goal, anyway.


Thanks for reading. Much love.

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