Tuesday, July 14, 2015

As a hidden ambassador of the beloved...



At times, you may be called into the erupting heart-field of one that you love, that you care for, and that has by some unexplainable mystery been placed along the path in front of you. For some reason, you are provided an invitation into the darkness, into the chaos, and into the very alive, yet empty abyss of one who is struggling with depression, with anxiety and despair, with raging grief – utterly lost and hopeless – seething with rage, shame, blame, and collapse.

It is so natural to want to help others, especially when they are suffering, hurt, confused, or experiencing profound sadness. As you hold their hand and meet them where they are, you may be asked to resist the temptation to ‘fix’ or ‘transform’ them – even to ‘heal’ them, for just behind the veil you see that they have never been ‘unhealed.’ And that in order to truly love them, you would never remove them from the intelligence of their actual experience and the integration it is offering.

With space, presence, and a wild sort of kindness as your guide, you are being asked to renew your ancient vow to stay close to the ‘other’ and to withdraw the projection of your unlived life upon them. For now, to set aside the urgent pull to spin them out of the darkness so that you do not have to confront your own.

In times of confusion and despair, what is often needed more than anything is to stay close, to meet and validate what is alive, and to cosmically recognize the other as an authentic, sacred person in their own right, as one who is doing what they can to organize and make meaning out of the chaos and the burning – not as someone who is ‘depressed,’ ‘anxious,’ lost, crazy, or insane – or as someone who needs to be ‘fixed.’ You can hold their hand and go directly into the darkness with them – sometimes in a courageous way, sometimes even side by side with raging fear – willing for your heart to break in the face of their suffering, which is ultimately none other than your own.

You can allow the other to matter, to cry deeply with them, to join them in their sadness, in the confusion, and the chaos – not getting lost in it, but not also standing off on the sidelines as a detached witness. As a hidden ambassador of the beloved, you can rest in the secret middle, in a cosmic dance of touch and go, committed to infuse each arising wave of feeling, emotion, and sensation with loving presence.

You can get on their side doing whatever you can so that when they look up into your eyes they feel you fully there with them, not needing them to change, shift, or transform first before you will love them. Perhaps for the first time, they are actually seen by another human being, the intensity is held and contained, its validity and workability is revealed, and a holding space is provided for the entirety of their experience to illuminate and to unfold.

They know you will stay with them, journeying even into their deepest pain and into the most shameful, darkest recesses of their heart and mind. You will not abandon them – or yourself – and you will not remove your love if they do not respond according to your own hopes and fears, or demand that they ‘heal’ according to your own needs and unmetabolized material.

It is in here that you are able to weave a sanctuary together, a crucible in which love can move through and seed separation with wholeness, revealing how precious this rare human opportunity really is. The path of the heart may always ask everything of us, but somehow we are willing to give that – and more – for we are wired for love. And to do whatever we possibly can to help beings everywhere. For in the end, there is no ‘other,’ but only the beloved as she takes form after form after form after form…


Photo credit: Friends comfort each other outside the residence of Nelson Mandela in Johannesburg, shortly after his death. Photo c/o Thomson Reuters.
 

2 comments:

  1. This is the most profound advice I've ever received on the subject of being with another when they are suffering – esp. when it’s someone with whom you are around much of the time. I don’t know whether I’ve received advice like this before and it’s taken me until now to be able to hear it, or if it’s just so beautifully and intelligently written that I’m able to take it in so deeply. Probably both. I’ve read it twice and feel forever changed by it.

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    1. Thank you for your very kind words, Bill, and for your passion and work in this area. In my experience, the path of love demands everything from us - and much, much more - but bears fruit from beyond this world. Wishing you well on the journey, my friend.

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