“When powerful emotion surges – when you are hooked, triggered, and your vulnerability is erupting within you – it does so longing for two responses.
First, to be met with your presence. To be held as valid, as worthy of your curiosity, openness, and warmth. You don’t have to pretend to “like” the feeling, but will honor it in any case, as the way reality is appearing in this moment. In this sense, it is pure, it is part of who you are, filled with intelligence, and a reminder of your vow to no longer abandon yourself. The invitation is to stay close knowing that arguing with what is is the root essence of all suffering.
The sad one, the raging one, the shamed one, the unworthy one, the scared one, the confused one, the flat one, the jealous one – though they can be quite intense, they are not obstacles on your path. They just want to be heard, to be felt, to be cared for, to be re-parented, and to be allowed to share their experience, which until now perhaps they have not felt safe enough to do. They are not in the way of your path, but are the path itself, coming forward in a disguised form to reveal something about love that has been forgotten.
Please listen – not just with your ears, but with your heart. Each carries sacred data, but this information is released only into a field of kindness… not aggression. See that it is the abandonment of these ones that only reinforces their centrality in your tender inner circuitry.
Next, with your awareness, realize that the feeling is not who you are. It is not fused with you and does not in fact carry any information about your worth as a person. I “feel” bad does not equal I “am” bad. This was the organization of little one at an earlier time, trying to make sense of an environment of empathic failure, but is surging now to be reorganized and re-written. You must slow way, way down and discover this for yourself. For it is the key to a new world.
Pull back slightly and enter into relationship with your feelings. Separate a bit from them, but not so much that you dissociate and disembody. You may discover there is so much space around your experience. Practice intimacy while not fusing. This is a holy art that you can learn.
You are the warm, open field of awareness in which all feelings and emotions can come into being for a short while, dance within your nervous system, and then dissolve back into the vast, spacious ground from which they arose.
Find the sacred middle and rest there, in between the ancient pathways of denial and fusion. It is here in which the great process of metabolization by love will unfold and illuminate.
The new way is alive now and rippling inside you. The pathways are revealing their flexibility and their longing to be reorganized. Soothe the fire with your presence and a fiery compassion. Open your heart to your vulnerability and meet it with just one moment of awareness and with kindness. And then slow way, way down, and see what you are.”
~ Matt Licata