Stream of consciousness…
My wife and I took our son to Disneyland. It’s such a joy to see our four-year-old light up, laughing, having fun and being happy on the rides. We had dinner and the waiter brought some bread. Our son yells “I love you!” He can be really cute that way – so open and loving and full of joy, a happy kid.
The day before, I was feeling sad – someone close to me was venting about their problems and it was feeling very hard-hearted to me. I was sad for him that he was in this place, and because there’s a part of me that resonates with that part of him.
Lately I’ve been consciously exploring those parts of me that scare me, the places where, when I go there, I begin to feel panic, places of intense vulnerability, places I’ve been hiding from myself, old pain, fears, shame, anger. Going there as much as I can, breathing into those places and opening up. As those places open up, I’m experiencing more heart opening, more epiphanies, more places where I can stop worrying and relax.
I’m realizing I have lots of places that resonate with the painful, evil aspects of human nature. They’re either places I’ve actively suppressed or convinced myself didn’t exist, that I was a “good person” and didn’t have this nature. I’m becoming aware of the fact we all have this nature. And more and more, I’m opening to the evil, to those places that generate those evil thoughts and feelings. Can I be a yes to the evil? Can I be a yes to the parts of me that think and feel really dark, scary things? Can I be a yes to that part of me that’s resonating with the part of my loved one whose behaving badly?
And by lifting the veil and removing the self-deception, can I also remove the shame and guilt? I think and feel these things and at my core that is not my truth, that is not what’s in my heart. But these feelings are human nature and they serve me in some way. Can I bring love to these parts? Are there resources in here?
Perhaps the reason I’ve felt so “uptight,” so reserved and held back in my expression is partly because I’m afraid of what’s inside me. I’m afraid if I fully express myself, the evil I’ve been trying to suppress will come out and I’ll have to face the fact that I’m an evil person. But that’s not what’s happening. The more I open up to the evil in me, the more love that emerges, and the more compassion and appreciation I have for others. And the less worry and fear I have.
I had a feeling hit me – I’ve been asking the world to stop hurting me. Most of my energy has gone into avoiding, distracting from or alleviating pain. Even here in the office – I’m constantly distracting myself, to avoid what I imagine is pain – pain of rejection, disappointment, maybe pain that I’ll discover something embarrassing about myself (like perhaps I enjoy accounting, which means I’m a nerd). My enjoyment has usually been in the form of relief – I finish something, I accomplished something, I got through something, got the good mark, and can relax. My most blissful moments have been when I’m at peace – where nobody is hurting me, nobody is needing anything from me, everyone’s content and I can relax and be at peace.
And I see this in other people – people hiding from others, saying to the world “please don’t hurt me.” We’ve given up being happy, like my four-year-old son who loves the waiter for bringing some bread. We’ve given up asking for what makes us happy. And we’ve accepted that we’re resilient – in fact we pride ourselves on our resiliency. And we look for moments of relief from the suffering before we go back into the fray. People looking for escape and relief from the pain.
What if instead, in those moments of wanting to escape, I stop and be there with that feeling? I welcome whatever feeling is pressing me to turn away, to be distracted?
What if, in those moments when I’m going into “please don’t hurt me,” I begin asking “what would I enjoy right now?” And allow myself to be in that place of desiring what I want, free from any pain or judgment of “you can’t have that,” or “how could you want that,” just be with it, totally open – maybe I can have it, maybe it’s good to want that, maybe going for what I want will feel good?
Destin is having this weekend retreat this weekend that looks pretty amazing. I won’t be going because of all the stuff going on in my life (and I need to rest up for the crazy work week coming), but I could really use a weekend like this right now – I feel ready to really open up and something like this could be the catalyst.
This opening up is painful but also beautiful. I really want to stay here, open up as much as possible, not go back to closing down, being a total yes to whatever comes up, opening up all that old tension.