Thursday, August 9, 2018

Suffering and relief

Wanting relief from our suffering is so ordinary, so valid, so human. Engaging in spiritual practice, psychotherapy, or intimate relationship to feel better is very natural and can be honored as an authentic movement within the psyche.

Paradoxically, if we prioritize feeling better and finding relief we may not be able to go deep enough into the shadowlands, darkness, and the light where the gold is to be found, in those layers of being which are not perceivable when feeling better is our primary aim.

To take the risk not only to love another and allow them to matter, but to allow ourselves to be loved, to see that we are already loved. It is an outrageous act of mercy and compassion to allow this in. While we may believe our deepest fear is that we are not loved, to face the implications that we are fully loved as we are can shatter the ancient trance of unworthiness and shake a life forever.

It’s a bit contradictory, really. And so it goes with the path of the heart. Unresolvable, paradoxical, alive, tender, and never able to be pinned down by a mind scrambling for control and consistency, knowing intuitively that the impending confrontation with the unknown is inevitable. How painful. How majestic.

We can honor those parts that want to use our relationships and practices to make us feel better, while at the same time opening to a deeper dimension of why they have come into our lives and the true potential that they offer. Not only to make us feel better and bring relief from the exhaustion of becoming, but to bring light to the darkness, to illumine the shadowy nether worlds of the inner landscape, revealing primordial beingness, essence, and unimaginable creativity.

As we struggle with our partners, children, friends, teachings, and practices, remember this is not evidence that we are doing it wrong, failed, or fallen short. But that we are alive. That our heart is open and beating, wired and longing for true connection.

It is evidence that some part of us yearns to enter more deeply into the mystery, to know the miracle implications of being alive in this human star, so rare and precious, to know why we have come here and how we can most wisely and skillfully help ourselves and others to never forget that brilliance.

To somehow contribute even in the most minuscule way to bringing heaven to earth.

My latest book – The Path Is Everywhere: Uncovering the Jewels Hidden Within You – is now available 

The next book, The Unfolding Heart, will be published by Sounds True in early 2020, details to come

My next event: 

The Great Befriending: A Five-Day Journey of Self-Love, Deep Rest, and Coming Alive (with Jeff Foster), September 21-26 in Loveland, Colorado