Sunday, August 2, 2015

Being with is letting go

What if as we learn to be with whatever arises in our thoughts and feelings with curiosity and kindness, those same thoughts and feelings can dissolve in the light of our compassionate awareness?
A long time ago I remember Ram Dass saying to invite your uncomfortable feelings in for tea. It seems to me that embracing whatever arises in our experience allows the space for us to let go. We aren't talking about working hard to analyze why we are having these particular thoughts or this specific feeling.
Being with means witnessing rather than judging. For example, my daughter and grandson were staying at my house for two weeks. It was a sweet visit and I got to spend a lot of quality time with both of them. Since they left last week I have been feeling deeply sad. This sadness lives in my body and has been so strong at times that it feels hard to breathe. When this sadness arises I have been practicing breathing deeply into the sadness and saying "of course" to myself and allowing the sadness to be. Being with this sadness feels like a sensation of tightness around my heart and pressure behind my eyes. When I be with it lovingly without giving into judging myself harshly, the sadness deepens and I might cry and then it lets go and releases. Then I feel a deeper sense of connection to my loved ones. Then I can ask myself ," what do you need right now?" and deeply listen.
 I think I have always felt it was wimpy to miss anyone. Like missing another person means there is something missing in me. I have avoided the achy emptiness of missing the people I love by attempting to rationalize it away. Like, I will see that person soon or missing someone is wasted energy.
Loving my grandson with a sweet purity of love that is different than my previous experience of loving has taught me so much. My love for him has no expectations at all of how he needs to be for me to love him. Hanging out with him, it doesn't matter what we do. Sure it is challenging to keep up with him. I can see why it is a good idea for younger people to have children.  I can play and be silly and be completely present with my grandson and then I can return him to my daughter and rest. This boundless unlimited loving is nourishing and healing for me and has expanded my heart immeasurably. So when they left I felt its absence very strongly. I also was relieved to have my house back to myself and to resume the routines of my life. So, I have been honoring the sadness and longing with the power of my attention. It is my intention to respect this longing as a tribute to the new found depth of my ability to love. As I be with the sadness, it deepens and then lets go into sweetness. I am learning to remember when the sadness arises that lovingly holding myself and asking for spiritual support for being with the pain allows it to be experienced and released. I am grateful to be learning about being with and letting go and that they are the same thing.
What would you like to explore allowing to arise with curiosity and kindness? How would you like to experiment or continue to experiment with knowing that being with and letting go are the same thing?