Poets for a Cause Spotlight: Caroline White and the Importance of Vulnerability in Healing

As the pandemic continues to weigh heavily on our hearts, I want to spotlight a writer who can speak to this season of our lives with an important message about vulnerability. Caroline White, this month’s featured poet, is a mental health advocate who seeks to help people find their own path to healing. White writes about the special kind of strength and resilience that comes out of our pain and hardships, and she encourages others to open up about their experiences. White seeks to remind readers that vulnerability requires tremendous strength, a strength built from our most challenging and unpredictable circumstances. 


During a time when all of our lives have been turned upside down, White’s words help remind us to believe our pain matters, to believe in healing, and to believe that there will be a way forward, no matter how uncertain it feels in the moment. 


While face-to-face interaction is currently limited, it’s important that we find new ways to connect and communicate with one another. White’s words are threads that connect our hearts, and they may even help us open up to bigger conversations. Whether it’s a phone call with a trusted friend or a virtual therapy session with a licensed counselor, exploring the depths of our pain is the first step to climbing out of it—because conversations about mental health are always worth having. 


Caroline White: “My biggest goal in my writing is to remind people that no matter who they are, what they’ve been through, and where they are today, they are strong and beautiful. 


Having learned this through my own struggles with depression, it is difficult to believe in yourself once you have become detached from the world around you and desensitized to pain.


Once we truly examine who we are, especially in darkness, we learn how to value ourselves through vulnerability and embracing every feeling we have—and that is how we heal. We rebuild ourselves with the strength and beauty that comes from even the worst times in our lives.”


I love White’s honest depiction of what rebuilding looks like: it’s often painful and immensely challenging, but it’s something we can walk through alongside one another. In her featured poem, White beautifully states that she learned about strength “by finding love in all the places pain should be”. 


In this painful year, and in these painful times, let’s continue to love one another, to validate one another’s experiences, and to rebuild together with equal parts resilience and vulnerability.  Together, we can see the different shades of healing taking shape within ourselves and our loved ones. 


Caroline White

Caroline White

“I was taught that pain is love,

it is why I am made of

sharp edges,

broken promises,

and shattered dreams.


But I am not fragile.


I have loved

with a damaged heart,

I have grown tall

despite shaky ground,

and I have healed

with missing pieces.


Strength is what I taught myself

by finding love

in all the places pain should be.”


For more poetry from Caroline White AKA cwpoet, be sure to follow her on Instagram.