Saturday, March 26, 2022

When sitting with a friend...

Dear friend,

I hope you’re doing well as we move into the spring, where the darkness is starting to yield to the light. This time of the year in the mountains is always one of dialogue, between the winter doing its best to hold on and the spring who is longing to emerge. In one moment it can seem like winter is taking the lead, only a few hours later for the spring to burst forth. Just like it is in the soul at times, there are wild swings between the various poles.

When we meet with someone who is feeling melancholic, empty, restless, or down, we can quickly become convinced that something is wrong, and that our role is to act urgently to fix them. And to engage in techniques, theories, and ideas to help them replace the actuality of their experience with what we believe they should be having instead.

It’s totally natural to want relief for those we care about and we want to do whatever we can to help; we don’t need to pretend this isn’t the case. We can hold that larger intention that they feel better, while simultaneously staying open to a call emerging in the field between us into deeper territory.

Perhaps it is something more subtle, more nuanced, more beautiful than relief that they are most longing for. For the Friend, for a companion who will go with them into the dimly lit, endarkened landscape of the soul.

From an alchemical perspective, there is wisdom and guidance in the images, emotions, and somatic data arising into the relational field between you, vital communication from the soul serving an initiatory function beyond what we can perceive. We don’t want to short-circuit that, especially as a result of our own anxiety and discomfort.

If we slow down and reflect, we might discover how much of our “fixing” activity, the movement toward relief, arises not from true compassion but from an unresolved relationship with our own darkness, with our own historic core vulnerabilities and untended complexes, and from the spinning and twirling of the ghosts of our own unlived lives.

It is possible that the most skillful and kind thing we can offer our friend is to sit in the charged energy with them, bearing witness to pure feeling together, in that claustrophobic or restless space, and stay near; to remove the burden that they come out of their experience, “feel better,” or heal in order for us to stay close.

Perhaps they don’t need to be healed, but to be held, to be heard, and to feel felt and understood, for someone to companion them as the hidden wisdom unfolds. Where, together, we weave a safe home, a sanctuary, a wholeness-temple where the shards of a broken world can reassemble.

I wish for you - and for all of life - to know this temple directly in the living reality of your own immediate experience.

Please take care of yourself.



Photo by Bingngu93

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