I'm not talking too much these days, and I have declined to get into much conversation. I see my role more as one of opening space within myself, feeling infinity, and knowing from here that the sad times are also filled with grace. They are grace ready to come out. When I'm riding the heartbreak waves, and I can remember this, it makes the experience very interesting.
What is it like to go through emotions that we call dark and at the same time feel light emanating from them? And how is it possible to have both?
It comes from a stillness of the mind. No thought can allow for such openness during heartache. The fire that burns as our suffering is fanned by our thoughts, playing out the story and its tale of woe.
And then there's a place deep inside that can actually contain . . . can hold you and your fear and your agony and the watery flow of sadness. For it is flowing. It is not fixed. Thoughts and emotions together want to lock something down, fix it as black or white, and hold to it. Only in letting our emotions erupt - with neither judgment of them nor of the catalyzing situation - can we experience this flow and allow everything to move.
This is a way to allow old emotions - I'm talking those that have been stored up since you were too young to remember - to arise and be released, leaving a door wide-open for the stillness that exists as our natural state to permeate the moment and, subsequently, our interactions with others.
We can't think our way into it. We just can't. Don't even try. If you find yourself doing it, just see it. Take a breath. Take a moment. And with that, you've used the futile attempt to mentally fix as a bell of mindfulness that brings you back to this. And this is it.
All of these situations are inviting us, sometimes subtly, sometimes like a raging storm, to awaken. It is a benevolent invitation. We needn't be afraid (see footnote).* Let the feelings come. Keep breathing. Feel the inner body. Feel infinity. Stay open.
I've been reading this Rumi poem for years, and I came across it today and saw it clearly. Can you find the knowing within yourself, when the head is bound with emotion and tragedy, that allows you to open your chest, relax your shoulders, breathe and surrender to this moment? Surrendering because you know deep within that there is grace in the sadness, and rich comfort on the other side of the woes . . .
I speak from experience. So does our beloved Mevlana (Rumi).
Do not despair
if the Beloved pushes you away.
If He pushes you away today
it's only so He can draw you back tomorrow.
If He closes the door on your face,
don't leave, wait --
you'll soon be by his side.
If He bars every passage,
don't lose hope --
He's about to show you
a secret way that nobody knows.
A butcher cuts off a sheep's head for food,
not just to throw away.
When the sheep no longer has breath
the butcher fills it
with his own breath.
O what life
God's breath will bring to you!
But the likeness ends here --
For God's bounty is much greater than the butcher's.
God's blows don't bring death but eternal life.
He gives the wealth of Solomon to a single ant.
He gives the treasure of both worlds to all who ask.
He gives and gives
yet does not startle a single heart.
I've traveled to all ends of the earth
and have not found anyone like Him.
Who can match Him?
Who can hold a candle to His glory?
He gives us the wine to taste,
not to talk about. . . .
He gives to taste.
He gives to taste.
He gives to taste.
"The point is not to feel better; it is to feel. The depth of this moment is all there is and our folly is to attempt to escape this. We will never be away from the now. [This is how we must die. To every sensation but this moment. To past, to future, to thoughts that think past and future exist at all.]
Scary? Go ahead and be scared. There’s the paradox — having the courage to be scared. I mean, what did I expect, taking on a process such as this? And these processes . . . am I willing to look into that mirror? Whose face will I see back?"