Thursday, May 30, 2013

Enter here... with your wide-open heart as the only guide that could ever be

When we choose intimate relationship as the crucible for our own awakening, we make an open invitation to all that is unresolved to come to the surface, to show us the areas of our bodies, our psyches, and our hearts that are calling out for love, attention, and awareness. Just being around the “other” will be sure to trigger this process and to open us into the unknown where we no longer have any reference point from which to organize our experience. We will be asked to stay very close to our somatic reality and to burn up in our habitual ways of responding to difficult sensations, feelings, and emotions. We come to know that each has an important message to deliver, that each come as messengers of the ever-transformative movement of love. We are not guided to meditate or pray more, engage in ritual, recite mantras or affirmations, or move toward healing or transformation of any kind – only to burn. 

In my experience, most have a much greater capacity to do this than they may believe, but it does require a certain courage, fearlessness, and deep longing to know who we are at the deepest levels. It requires an ongoing commitment to train ourselves to not automatically act out of that which is unresolved within us, out of our hopes, dreams, pain, fear, and images, even the spiritual ones. It requires that we learn to stay, to not abandon the “other,” whether that “other” is our partner or our own somatic experience or our own tender heart. For in that moment, these are one and not separate. The path laid out before us is often directly into the scary places, and the only guide is your own wide open heart. 

It can be helpful to look into each of our relationships to start to see the landscape of the (unconscious) agreements we’ve made with the other to avoid the experience of too much exposure, nakedness, rawness, uncertainty, and vulnerability. It is easy and quite natural to unconsciously start to define a “good” relationship or a “great” partner as one who doesn’t really question these agreements, and who supports our enacting of the mechanisms of survival which arose (intelligently) out of our childhoods of origin. It doesn’t take much – just one word or not returning a phone call or a quick glance or some apparent coldness or distance – and we are vulnerable, unprotected, unsure, the ground has slipped away for just a moment. It is by entering this groundlessness directly, by coming unbearably close to it, tasting it, touching it, feeling its contours, caring enough about it, that the past can become metabolized and fully integrated into what we are. And in this we see that life is not actually what we think, that nothing in reality actually corresponds to our concepts; we see so clearly how awareness is curative in and of itself, and how fortunate we are to have this unique opportunity to bear witness to how love is moving in this world.