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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean


I am learning deeply to understand that I don't have to fix anyone's problems. I don’t have to save my clients or friends or lovers, I don't have to heal them, or get them to take on my current metaphysical fascination, cosmic theories, healing methodologies or spiritual practices.

Just attending to them . . . offering my listening and focus so that they know what they are experiencing matters and is important and understood. Bearing witness to the organic wisdom abiding in each person is an incredibly important contribution to their recalibration, reorganization, and the emergence of the knowing answers they seek.

Listening. Listening . . . not only to their verbal narrative but to the somatic story as well. To the secret, sensitive language emerging from their hearts.

Can I bracket my beliefs and ideas and images for a few moments? Can I attune to the poetic beauty and power of the mirror neuron system and enter into the miracle of our we-space? Perhaps, if I can, they may feel felt.

How can I convey . . . I'm with you. I'm here. I feel you. I understand you. Can I be midwife as the soul before me weaves a new story into a new cloth of identity, one that is majestic and comprehensive enough to contain the immensity that they are. Their story and sense of self is updating in real-time. Can I rejoice in the honor and opportunity to witness the integrating, spacious, flexible, translucent kindness unfolding.

I invite the ancestors to hold my back, to sooth my nervous system, to bring into my solar plexus a sanctuary of presence, a field of permission that others can sense and recognize as they go through their experience . . . My intention is that my clients and friends feel no pressure whatsoever to heal or to meet some hidden agenda in order for me to stay close, interested and supportive.

I have to constantly regulate the temptation to “teach” them. But instead, “reach” them, finally, by way of the circuitry of empathic immersion.

If I am out of touch with my own unlived life – with the unmet grief, the unheld sadness, the unmetabolized rage . . . If I have disavowed these visitors – bypassing them via my endless metaphysical theories and beliefs: it will just be too unsafe for me to enter the vessel of relationship with my eyes and heart open.

Of course my mind has such a hard time with this. It just can't believe it. What about my theories and techniques and spiritual beliefs and all of it? I must convey it all and show them.

But the body knows. The heart knows. The holy nervous system knows.


So I listen . . . and I listen . . . and I hear the whispers of what my heart does know . . .

The Other – whether outside us or taking internal form – is not in need of new information, theories, or spiritual beliefs, but needs and wants and longs for me, for you … our nakedness, our tenderness, our raw unfiltered being, our love.

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