During the past weekend I found myself feeling feelings I didn't like. Having grown accustomed to being comfortable in my own skin moment-to-moment, I was not enjoying myself. Being used to turning toward my inner unrest and being able to identify what the feelings are about and what I need to do for self-care, living through four days before enlightenment descended, was a roller coaster. The roller coaster was a ride of feeling the feelings, not acting on them until I understood where they were coming from so I could act from a place of truth and compassion. The desire to move away from them kept surfacing - and yet I wanted to hold them present in order to discover where they might lead me. Conflict - wanting to move away, wanting to stay with. It was a weekend so I had lots of time with my husband, who was aware that I was not my usual, more cheerful self in a steady way, and he wanted to help. I wanted him to help. But I wasn't ready to say what I needed because I didn't know my inner truth clearly enough. Conflict again - wanting to be comforted, wanting space. So my roller coaster ride was stepping in and out of the feelings, taking time to sit in my stillness, breaking from the intensity, then engaging with the most presence that I could during my time with others so that I could enjoy parts of the days and not let the inner conflict/feelings consume my life completely. This letting go for a bit provided a sense of balance and perspective. I do want to honor my inner life, to be congruent with my deep truth. I also want to live a joyful life, allowing the truth to reveal itself in good time. So, with "clarity of my lack of clarity", I did my best. There are moments I wish I could have behaved more fluidly and openly, and I will, with more practice and awareness.
When the truthfulness opened up in me, I saw the feelings and conflicting desires that were beyond the inner unrest. I literally felt the opening within me to discover the deeper truth beyond the feelings that I felt stuck in. I had asked to understand, and understanding found me. Because the truth held conflicting ideas and thoughts about the world around me, it was no wonder that it wasn't readily uncovered. Now the journey moved into a place of acceptance, an expansive awareness of the opposing forces and movements of life about me and in me. This I could stay with more easily, allowing the realizations and resulting feelings to just be. These feelings were not conflicted, rather they were a jumble of feelings - bits of sadness, frustration, blips of sweet gratitude and slivers of little losses. Staying with the expansive awareness, I just felt that jumble of feelings, letting them inform me of the bigger picture. Each one filling in parts of the fuller picture.
I reveled in gratitude for seeing this fuller picture, my moving beyond any resistance to seeing it, and finding deeper understanding. What I saw was that the "how" of what I am doing is essential to the satisfaction of my everyday life. This was not a new revelation, but rather a deeper exploration of this truth, a moment-to-moment experiencing of it, and of how much more comfortable life is when we can see our deep inner truth. The inner agitation melts away, the momentary relief from the conflict appears and for a time, all is well. The next step is to act on this truth, some how - some way. This can lead to some further inner conflict and struggling, but that too must be navigated through and beyond, because the precious gem lies in our ability to act in congruence with our inner truth.
And when we honor our truth, the how of our living seems to alter in essential quality. When we act in alignment with it, we free ourselves from inner conflict. We may have to stay with some conflicting feelings like, when I share my beliefs and perceptions it may cause others their own inner conflict and need to explore what it all means to them. I may not want to cause this another, depending on their reactions and ability to own their own process. I may be fearful of heading down this path. But what I know is, letting fear determine our behavior is a no win situation ultimately. Fear is the great enemy, leaving us with more consequences to bear in the long run.
So my "how" of living is the ability to consciously move from moment to moment, to accept my full experience and let it guide me and teach me about life and living compassionately, especially with myself and those I love. It is about being brave enough to stay with conflict, not numb those feelings or avoid them, but rather hold steady in the face of that ride, looking and opening for the bigger picture understanding. Upon finding this understanding, I take responsibility for sharing what I see, what I have learned and what I ultimately want and need to live comfortably in the now.
As we share ourselves with those we love and ask for acceptance, and offer the same, life itself becomes more expansive. We relieve ourselves of the resisting conflict, and open to the ability to hold it all, even the conflicting truths that may emerge. We may discover that we are on a journey of discovering the wholeness within by identifying the yin and yang - the extremes and opposing forces that are a part of our deepest inner truth. This is our wholeness - that we are the essential substance of All. It is how we act in the world, how we want to develop ourselves in compassion or in fear-based living that ultimately tells our story. This is where our choice comes in. But still, deep within, we are the substance of it All.