Dropping Below Surface Emotions
It is 2:30 AM. I am on vacation with Pat but currently sitting up wide awake in the lobby of the Comfort Inn in Canton, Missouri. What is keeping me up, beyond the overindulgence in pizza last night? Let me use my emotional early warning system (EEWS) to check this out.
There is so much going on at Sevenoaks Pathwork Center, so much at stake. My surface emotions relate to, “Are the financials I provided to the team on Friday right?” “Oh my! If they are not I am bad.” “Will I be able to hold space for our Helper Group phone call today? If not, what will happen?” Putting into practice my EEWS, I step back and see how these emotions all relate to my separate little ego worried about how he will look, to himself and to others. Is this what is keeping me up tonight? Probably yes!
As I sit more with this I drop deeper into my core and I see and feel all the pain connected with the challenges at Sevenoaks. Real people with real lives who have given their hearts and very lives to Sevenoaks now stand in great pain of facing all that may happen here, pain on several levels, all real. As I sit with this, my self-centered surface emotions seem almost silly and embarrassing (not up to my Idealized Self Image). With awareness, they dissipate a bit, and beneath their little selfish perspective my heart opens in compassion for all the pain that committed people are experiencing here. How must this be for these folks? Can I reach out to them in love from my heart? I can tap into that deeper part of me that wants to do just that. Reach out into the pain.
Of course the answer to this pain is “easy” from the outside detached perspective. “Just let Go of what you are holding onto here and let God.” But these folks know this and so much more, especially intellectually. But emotionally this is so challenging. So, Gary, this no time for “obvious advice,” but rather simple presence and compassion. Remember, we are One, we are all part of this experience.
I move onto other areas and see similar patterns. So many challenges in my family for many reasons. My surface emotions again are self-centered. “I was a bad dad.” “My love is inadequate, and I experience shame and guilt.” And once again, as I use these emotions as an EEWS, I can see the silliness and let them go. And when I do, I see and begin to feel my kids’ pain in facing so many challenges in life. And again my heart opens and I feel my compassion for all they are going through.
So can I let go of my resistance to feeling my love and compassion for them? Can I be open to what this compassion may require of me? This is where my heart wants to go. My own Let God and Let God. May it be so.