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  • Writer's pictureAnnelisa MacBean

Safely Burning

It's true that the path of the heart may not always feel possible, doable or safe. It's super, uber-challenging to truly walk the spiritual talk when you're engaged in a discussion with your partner about finances, or parenting differences . . . you just want the dishes done, or the kid's screen-time monitored, or some sex every now and then. These are the conversations that can blow up an otherwise easy-going Sunday afternoon. Yet this is the field in which we are asked to exercise our spiritual muscles; to apply all our meditation practices, yoga retreats and MDMA journeys . . . apply all our knowing wisdom to the mundane matters of life, to our relationships and communications.


At the times you are most triggered, activated and regressed, you are asked to remember that you are not living in the twentieth century any longer. You are living in the present moment, well into the the twenty-first century where you are actually safe. In the present moment, no disagreement threatens survival. You are asked to remember your MDMA body . . . your focused yoga pose . . . your deep sound-bath breath. You are asked to remember that your body exists in a multi-dimensional continuum of vast, majestic space in which all feelings come and go. You exist as a representation of infinite space, fluid with loving warmth and curiosity, pregnant with creativity and unknown possibility.


To turn away from yourself, to turn away from the hurt and need in a state of activation, to get tangled up in the storied threads of shame, blame, resentment, and complaint, is tragically unkind. It denies the truth of you - it denies the truth of the other - and merely re-enforces the ancient, worn out circuitry of self-aggression. Self-aggression inevitably becomes projection and assassination of the other. There is nothing less safe for anyone, anywhere than denying or attacking your own vulnerability.


But to stay with yourself in times of activation, to practice intimacy with the contradictions, and to renew your vow to never abandon the visitors as they appear; this is the work . . . this is the path. The invitation is to turn back toward yourself and breathe new life into the sensitive, the tender, the shaky, and the raw. Bear witness to the new circuitry as it forms. Sometimes it burns unbearably as new wiring is layered into your psyche. No narrative or story here. Not even a conversation with your inner child . . . Not right now. Contain. Hold. Steady. Curb the urge to distract or deflect. Focus. Stay with the alchemy, the heat . . . Breathe . . . it passes . . .


When the old strategies of abandonment begin to fall away, all that remains then is your burning, purified heart. There is nothing more alive than truly holding and caring for yourself in radically new ways. There is nothing safer than that, either.



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