Hello, blogger people. How are you? I have little things to share.
First off, a little while ago I went through a period where I was working through stuff that I thought I was long over. We go through cycles don’t we? Some things just stay with us. I did some sketches and writing.
Another thing that happened is jury duty. Which is boring agony among other things. I didn’t get called.. but I had to sit in a chair for hours and got some reading done. I read some pretty good essays..
She went through a personal loss and left a meeting in tears from a sudden unexpected reminder. She realized at that point there was nothing she could do except accept these feelings as a fact of her life now and figure out a way of dealing with them. She remembered a young Buddhist monk who said, “When you are filled with fear, anxiety, or other difficult emotions, the first thing you should do is make friends with them.” Rather than fight them, soften, open up and invite them.
She goes on to say: “And so it is with a broken heart, or any other problem really. You may have been taught to attack a problem when you encounter it, either by trying to fix it right away or else eradicating it. I’m not suggesting that this is never a good idea, but there is another option which you may never have thought of, which is to extend the hand of friendship to your situation. This is an extraordinary thing to do. Making friends with your broken heart, instead of trying to mend it or banish it, begins by simply making room for it to exist. You could even invite it to sit down…”
I think this is pretty sound advice.
When your feelings overwhelm you, she proposes that you simply feel them. Instead of trying to talk yourself out of them, bury them, philosophize about what it all means, or try to deaden the pain, she suggests just being present. Maybe try to notice where the grief manifests in your body when it shows up and you feel a sudden emotional pain. And to just be gentle with yourself. She adds, “So many problems result from the inability to be kind to yourself.” True.
A short essay but full of wisdom.
The other essay I read was by Thich Nhat Hanh, “The Child Within.” In it he talks about the young suffering child in each of us. How we all have experienced difficulty at some point as children and many have experienced trauma. The wounded child stays buried within us whether we’re aware of it or not. To pay attention to that wounded child is to come home to ourselves. He even goes into how the wounded child is in each cell of our body, but just as the wounded child is there, so are the seeds of awakened understanding.
“We have a lamp inside us, the lamp of mindfulness, which we can light anytime. The oil of that lamp is our breathing, our steps, and our peaceful smile. We have to light up the lamp of mindfulness so the light will shine out and the darkness will dissipate and cease. Our practice is to light up the lamp.”
The line about the wounded child in each cell of our body reminded me of when I was in massage school and learned about the practice of Hakomi. I had an amazing teacher who had a Hakomi practice. Hakomi is an experiential based psychotherapy of the body for use by bodyworkers. Something struck me about it as being so useful and powerful and if I had continued with school, it was something I definitely wanted to do. My teacher told me that no matter who is on the table in front of us and whatever our differences are there is something about them that is so fundamentally right because they survived and they are still surviving in this often harsh and difficult world–and to always remember that.
That is useful to keep in mind not just as a bodyworker, but when meeting any human being.. I had some wonderful teachers. I miss them. It might not be too late for me to go back.. Who knows? I may return to study someday..
Finally, there was a thought that struck me: Our wounded child is not only us, but the wounded child of past generations. That our ancestors may not have known how to care for this child within and transmitted their wounded child to us. I definitely feel I carry the wounded children of both of my parents as well as my own. The practice of mindfulness can help heal these inner wounded children and end the cycle.