Receiving The Whole Gift
At an early age most of us were taught to distrust ourselves. We learned that some of our feelings were not at all welcome here, and that only parts of us were worthy of love. To cope with this we’ve developed habits of numbing ourselves, contracting our bodies, and hiding parts of us to try and convince ourselves and others that they don’t exist.
We typically find it hard to allow feelings of neediness, anger, or grief, and we rarely want to acknowledge how wild and unpredictable our feelings are. So we try to ignore what is being felt with endless strategies of distraction and pretend that our thoughts are in charge. We’d rather shut down and be dull, than be bad and unworthy of love.
But is it really true that what we feel can make us bad? What does your heart want for the one experiencing needing, frustration, or sadness?
We are invited to receive the full gift of life by simply opening to whatever we are given to feel. When we fall open to this felt experience, a deeper and more subtle universe of sensation appears that is far beyond anything the mind can grasp with its clunky labeling system. We get to fully taste innumerable flavors of life energy moving through us, mixing, and mutating without any regard for the mind’s “shoulds” and “shouldn’ts.”
At this point, our trained distrust of our true nature often raises fearful objections, like “if we surrender to our life energy rather than asking our minds to move us about, what will stop us hurting or killing people?” Such questions can only be satisfyingly addressed by feeling the truth of our actual experience. It is only in such direct experience that we can start to sense how compassionate, wise, and authentic action spontaneously arises when we are available to everything moving through us.
Actions that are guided by the heart, and energized by the inspiration behind them, require no additional validation. There is no higher authority. Participating in such action is worth more than any amount of the goods that the mind pushes us to seek by cutting off parts of ourselves.
But believing all this is not the same as actually receiving the full gift. To receive, we simply turn to the gift that is here right now: these felt sensations, just as they are, regardless of whether the mind says “gift” or “yuck.” When we feel into what is really here we’re leaving behind the realm of what the mind thinks it knows, and exploring the fresh and wild terrain of this moment. We don’t need to establish any new mental categories of “feelings good” – “thinking bad.” Instead we can just taste full the flavor of the moment, regardless of whether thinking is happening or not.