Saturday, May 14, 2016
A relentless compassion
There is such a deeply rooted belief that we must do something with intense surges of feeling and emotion as they wash through: understand them, determine their cause, link them to some life circumstance or person, transform them, transmute them, or even “heal” them.
The pathways of abandonment are many, and were weaved into our sensitive little nervous systems as young children who did not have the capacity to metabolize the intensity in an environment of presence. Out of the very intelligent need to escape, we unfolded unique strategies of fight/ flight/ freeze, to take us out of dysregulating states of intense vulnerability and groundlessness, and away from the overwhelming aliveness of the somatic and emotional worlds.
But what if for just one moment, you did absolutely nothing in response to the arising of emotional intensity? If you neither repressed nor denied it, nor acted it out or sought to discharge the energy as it surges? What if the most wise, loving, attuned response was to take no action? Not some sort of cold, detached, uncaring, resigned “nothing,” but one that was filled with warmth, holding, and a relentless sort of self-care? To make a commitment to no longer abandon the uninvited ones as they erupt, seeking holding?
And discover, finally, if your heartbreak must be mended, if the sadness must be transformed into happiness, if the fear must be sent away, if the anger must be abandoned, and if you must turn from the fire as it rages. This is a “doing nothing” that is the doorway into the sacred world, to reuniting with the orphaned ones of your inner family – not by fueling a story about what happened, who is to blame, and what the presence of these ones mean about your worth as a person. But through encoding new circuitry – guided by slowness, by love, by empathy, and by attunement.
These feelings and emotions are pure energy flow and information. They are not enemies or obstacles on your path, but are the very path itself. They have not come to harm you but only to be allowed back in to the majestic vastness that you are. They are none other than Life itself, taking a wrathful appearance, longing to get your attention and to remind you of something you’ve forgotten. And to reveal that it is only in their abandonment, not in their nature, that suffering can take root and flower here.
This ‘doing nothing’ is not a cold, passive resignation, but is an alive, sacred activity, infused with the light of awareness and a wild, relentless sort of compassion. To do nothing in this way is a radical act of kindness and love, filled with qualities of earth and warmth, and a holy gift that you can offer yourself and others.