In a moment of emotional activation, it can feel as if the walls are closing in around us. The ruminative thinking, the painful feelings, the sense that we must urgently take action into fight, flight, or freeze. There must be some way to cut into the claustrophobia, groundlessness, uncertainty, and panic.
We know that denying or repressing the inner visitor will only enliven it in shadow form. But to act it out, fuse with it, or become flooded by its engulfing energy – to fuel it with more stories of shame, blame, and conditioned modes of attack – is also a form of self-abandonment and portal into further suffering.
The invitation in these moments is to first slow way down. Breathe deeply. Feel your feet on the ground. Lay your hands on your heart and your belly. Sense the new pathway that is alive in the womb of now, circling around and inside you. Feel the circuits of presence, empathy, and attunement longing for your recognition and communion. Follow the longing into the holy middle, into that creative, yet unknown dimension of spacious, loving awareness.
Step back from the chaos just a bit, but not so far that you fall into denial and dissociation. Come close, dare to come close, care so much that you can only come close, but not so close that you fall in, become engulfed, and forget who you are. Intimacy without fusion. In between the urge to fight or to flee the new pathway has appeared. Sense it. Feel it. Imagine it. Open to it.
As we ground ourselves into the earth and send breath into the symptom – temporarily setting aside the demand that it be cured, fixed, healed, or transformed – we provide sanctuary and safe passage for its wisdom to emerge. Shifting our perspective from “what went wrong” to what is longing to be met within us, we plant the seeds for new life.
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