Over many years, with practice, persistence and courage, I am training myself to move toward uncomfortable emotions, to deepen into them and track the physical sensations the qualities, textures, colors, fragrances, and signatures. I am learning to replace the hope for relief with curiosity. I follow the feelings now, even the hard ones, trusting that doing so leads to movement toward a full-spectrum knowing, toward the experience of being an open, alive human being.
This inner exploration is an ongoing, important developmental task, witnessing my experience and having a perspective on what I’m feeling. Cultivating a willingness and curiosity to turn into the hard stuff eventually leads me to an effortless infusion of warmth, kindness, and compassion that unwinds the tangles and the knots in my body and psyche.
Insight is an element of the exploration and insight can bring clarity. But staying beyond the insight, attending to my experience beyond my mind’s meaning-making . . . then . . . eventually . . . even the insight falls away. Presence, perhaps Love, is all that remains.
So, I listen and watch, initially with the hope that my emotion, usually anger or fear, goes away, shifts, or transforms into something else – which it sometimes will do – but it is my growing love of the Truth, my yearning to know the experience of Truth coming into my body that finally brings the alchemical phenomenon of softening.
I learn over and over that I am not a victim of emotion. I am not trapped in anguish or anxiety. The apparently hardened, holding, cranky manifestations of emotional states in my tummy or shoulders are not as they appear. The shell of my emotion is filled with all of my personal associations, complexes, and a very vivid storyline with a colorful cast of characters. But at the core of each emotion is pure space. My solar plexus and throat, my belly and heart, my entire body is actually translucent, flexible, and non-solid.
My emotional states are signals, bumps on the yellow highway dividing line, indicators that I’m misaligned in my thinking or perceptions. Following the Truth along the hard lines in my body leads me to the soft spaciousness of being. Into this space enter the qualities of Truth: warmth, compassion, luminosity, and wisdom . . . knowing guidance, filled with energy and information for the journey ahead.