Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Infusing our experience with love and kindness

We each have our own unique constellation of core vulnerabilities, ways of organizing our experience that in large part are there to help us avoid feeling certain feelings. While these organizing responses originated when we were little ones, in the face of overwhelming experience which could not be metabolized by our developing brains, nervous systems, psyches, and little hearts, they are not merely remnants of the past. Rather, they are kept alive in the present, in each moment when we turn away from lived, embodied, immediate experience. When we start to notice the many ways that we do this, there is a tendency to be very hard on ourselves, allowing the spiritual superego to take charge and to show us all the ways we are bad, unspiritual, shameful, unintelligent, unworthy, not as “spiritual” as others, and so forth. When we notice these ways of being aggressive toward our experience, we could pause, cut this cycle, get really embodied, open our hearts all the way, and infuse our reality with a compassionate, loving kindness.

These strategies, these ways of protecting ourselves, arose out of a deeply creative intelligence and represented our best efforts at the time to love ourselves and to ensure our own emotional (and sometimes even physical) survival. In this way you could say that these strategies themselves were actually expressions of a certain kind of grace. We can commit to updating our responses to fear, to intimacy, to vulnerability, to shame… and we can fully step onto this path of awakening and healing in a way where it is illumined with kindness, love, patience, and compassion. In this, we’re then able to allow the sacredness, the magic, and the unique alchemy of this fragile and precious journey to reveal itself, and to express itself through openness, love, and a total commitment to this life as it is.