Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Resting in the mystery of being

There is a primordial longing wired into us as infants to be seen, for our experience to be held, mirrored, and validated by another. In an environment of embodied attunement, we are able to rest in the mystery of being. We can explore unstructured states of consciousness and enter courageously into the dark and into the light. In this sense, love is an alive field of presence in which experience can unfold into greater levels of integration and cohesion.

From this perspective, “I love you” = “I allow you.” I allow you to have your own experience, to organize and make meaning of the world in the way that you do, and I will surround you with presence and with warmth even if I do not understand you. Even if by being yourself I am triggered with surges of previously unmet vulnerability and unmetabolized feeling, I allow you to be what you are. While I will not allow you to abuse me or to act violently or break the agreements and boundaries we have established, I will allow your inner experience to be what it is. While I may turn from you in the external world, I will not turn my heart off. Because I love you.

Many have heard of the term ‘holding environment,’ introduced by the great British analyst Donald Winnicott, to describe this field of presence. We can see that any good holding environment is made up of the essential qualities of contact and space. Through making close, embodied contact with another as they are - and by offering an attuned home in which their experience can unfold - we become vehicles of love in action. We care so much and are willing to take the risk of coming so close. We enter into intimate contact with another and their experience as it is, but not so close that we lose perspective and become emotionally fused with it. In this sacred middle territory we offer the gift of our attuned presence.

Simultaneously, we infuse the other with the sacred offering of pure space. For space is our true nature. By resting in the organic space of being, we seed them with cosmic trust that their experience is valid, that we do not need them to be different, to change, to become ‘awakened,’ to be in a ‘high vibration,’ or to ‘heal’ in order for us to love them. We will no longer place the burden upon them to take care of our unlived lives and unmet emotions for us, and we will honor their unique process and journey, by being there for them if (and only if) we are needed.

While not talked about as much, we can provide this same contact and space to ourselves. In any here and now moment, we can discover that our nature as awareness itself is in fact the ultimate holding environment. While as an infant we depended upon another to provide this environment for us, in which we could rest in primordial beingness, it is actually here at all times. While we deeply appreciate the ways in which the ‘other’ can remind us of this, it is here now, pouring out of the unseen and soaking into every cell and strand of our DNA. 

With eyes and a heart wide open… just look and you will feel it surrounding you… right now.

While we may not always understand our experience - and while it may never conform to our ideas, hopes, and dreams about the life we were 'meant to live' - we can come to trust that it is unfolding according to a unique blueprint which is emerging out of the unseen hand of love.

Photographer unknown