Thursday, May 26, 2016

The gift of integration

In a moment of activation, your inner family has assembled, including both invited and uninvited guests. While it is tempting to describe what is happening - “I’m angry,” “I’m sad,” “I’m depressed,” “I’m lonely,” or “I’m scared,” go further… these labels will never, ever touch the majesty that you are.

Gathering in the here and now are perceptions, emotions, and raw sensations, your fellow journeyers on the path ahead. Slow way down and offer sanctuary for the visitors, for they each have something important to share. Feel the earth supporting you – the sun, the moon, the trees, and the stars – as you renew your vow to never abandon yourself and the truth of your surging, immediate experience.

If you are triggered, it might help to work bottom-up and start with the raw sensations. Set aside the story for just a moment – you will come back to it from a place of presence soon. Shift your awareness out of the dysregulating narrative of what is happening and into your body. What is appearing for holding and integration? What are you feeling in your belly, in your heart, and in your throat? No interpretation, for now… just raw feeling.

Then turn toward the emotional tone, the felt sense of what it is like to be you, right now. Still staying underneath the level of interpretation, meet your raw experience. Enter into communion with the aliveness of you, and of the emotional and somatic landscape. It is filled with intelligence, though it is a wisdom that is not always knowable by the mind. Touch the earth, breathe deeply, and bring your senses back online into the here and now. Rest for a moment in embodied presence.

Then, when you are back online and the fire has calmed a bit, return to the very vivid narrative, and with the slowness of presence inquire into the story you are telling about yourself, others, and the world. Look carefully and see if it is the story of a little one yearning for empathic holding and to be seen, or if it is the story of an adult, longing to participate fully and consciously in the unresolvable mysteries of love. And see if you are ready to update the narrative, to tell a more integrated, nuanced, and spacious story about your life. This re-authoring is a great gift of love that you can offer to yourself and the world.

Provide yourself with the gift of integration, of weaving together the story, the emotions, the felt sense, and the raw sensations. Nothing is wrong with you. You are not “the angry one,” “the scared one,” “the unhealed one,” or “the unworthy one.” These ones come and go in the vastness that you are. These waves of emotion, feeling, and sensation are not evidence that something is wrong with you and that you have failed, but that you are sensitive, open, and alive. Each moment is unprecedented, and a portal back into your true nature.

Photo by Sterling Salman