In those inevitable moments when you’re being flooded by activating, confusing, or overwhelming images and feelings, you might imagine that an important figure of the soul has appeared at the door (of your heart) and is knocking.It could be a young child, infant, or even a fetus; a lost teenager, a worried adult at midlife, or an elderly person nearing death. Or perhaps a wounded or frightened animal, a mythic or spiritual figure, or some other one who doesn’t fit into any of these descriptions.
Often, this figure is young, and for understandable reasons. We open the door and the little one is there, exhausted from a long journey.
He or she is wondering, hoping, pleading, "How about now? Is it safe? Can I come home? Will there be anyone to hold me? I know it wasn’t possible last month, last year, last decade, last generation. But what about now? I'm not here to harm, cause more pain, or interfere with your healing, I just want to come home and rest and play again.”
It can be helpful to personify the activating experience, to drop into the felt sense of the situation, and “allow” it to take form as a figure. It’s more natural to open our hearts to a little being there, with that innocence, and find our way into relationship.
In contrast, it’s just not all that native to open our hearts to an abstraction, like “anger,” “sadness,” “fear,” or “panic.” How do we open our hearts and souls to a concept?
If we can “allow” the emotion and sensitivity to express itself by way of an image or a figure, we enter into communion with the one who has been carrying that shame, rage, and loneliness for so long. We travel into their world and see it with those missing qualities of empathy, holding, and care.
As we deepen in our inquiry we may start to discover that this little one really does have her own autonomy. “We” don’t create her, but in some way she’s actually already here. She has “created” herself.
Tending to her is the activity of love.