Friday, October 6, 2023

Into a vessel of light

When we meet with someone who is feeling melancholic, empty, shaky, or down, we can quickly become convinced that something is wrong, and that our role is to (urgently) fix the situation. To provide techniques, spiritual theories, and advice to get them out of their experience and into a different one.

It’s natural to want relief for those we care about and do whatever we can to help. We can hold a larger intention that they feel better while simultaneously staying open to the intelligence that is moving through them.

Perhaps it is something more subtle, more soulful, more holy than relief they’re longing for. And that advice, techniques, and theories are experienced by them as misattuned and yet another failure in empathy.

And then on top of the difficult emotions, they feel unseen, unheard, and alone, which is shattering. They look and cannot find the Friend, and shatter more.

There is wisdom in the images and emotions which arrive as a complex is constellated and incarnates in the body, an important dispatch from the soul serving an initiatory function beyond ordinary perception.

If we slow down, we might discover how much of our need to fix, heal, and relieve arises not from true compassion, but from an unresolved, dissociative relationship with the darkness within, from our own untended vulnerabilities and sensitivities, and spinning ghosts of our own unlived lives.

It is possible that the most skillful and kind thing we can offer the other is to sit in the charged energy with them, 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. To extend a soothed nervous system and a field of love in which they can meet the reality of their own heart.

And be there with them to gather the shattered pieces, collecting them into a vessel of light.