Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Your embodied experience is path, not pathology

It is so natural to want to help others, especially when they are suffering, hurt, confused, or experiencing profound sadness. But are we willing to set aside the very deeply rooted tendencies to fix, change, transform, or heal them, even for a moment? Can we walk with them into the raging fire that is their present reality, exactly as it has been given, and stay attuned to their precious experience as it is unfolding?

Can we dare to see the "other" so nakedly and intimately as an authentic, unique, sacred person in their own right, moving toward wholeness and integration, rather than someone who is “depressed," "anxious," "lost in their ego," or someone who has fallen apart, a total mess, stuck in traumatic response, bipolar, passive-aggressive, schizophrenic, or even insane?

Let us hold the hand of our friend and go directly into the darkness with them, if that is what love is asking, willing for our hearts to be shattered and put back together with them, over and over and over again. Let us allow the other to matter so much we cry deeply with them, we join them in their sadness, we get on their side, we do whatever we can so when they look into our eyes they feel us fully with them. Perhaps for the first time, they are actually seen by another human being, the way they organize their experience is held, and the way they make meaning of their life is contacted and shared. 

Let us join with them and with the entire phenomenal world in proclaiming that no mistake has been made, that they are not broken, flawed, or a project which needs fixing. To see together that all states of mind are utterly workable, intelligent, and that their experience, exactly as it is, is of the nature of primordial wisdom and sanity. Let us see once and for all that sadness, grief, depression, and rage are not pathology, but path.

To the degree we are able to stay with the intensity within—cradling our own sadness, despair, hopelessness, depression, and fear—it is to this degree that we will be able to touch and hold another, setting aside the need to fix, cure, or heal them, and remain as a sanctuary of space, holding, and kindness. It is by way of this sanctuary that love is able to find safe passage in this world.