I’m about halfway through “Daring Greatly” by Brene Brown and feel that the book is providing information I would consider as the “Missing Link” (also the title of the mandala below).
The concepts are difficult to verbalize, and writing about them at this point is likely premature, but part of the practice is dropping the “vulnerability armor”, perfectionism being one shield.
For a very long time I have been seeking what will help me to feel better…the shortest most efficient path away from intense emotions I have labeled “bad”, grief, anger, sadness, fear, envy. I considered pain as a signal that something was wrong. The desire to avert any future situation that might cause any of the above emotions became almost an obsession. Different teachings came to my attention that this might not be the true path, “The Presence Process” in 2009, and more recently “Letting Go” . Both books speak powerfully of the futility of avoiding emotions/feelings and recommend the practice of surrendering deeply to whatever is being felt, promising true freedom and an increased capacity for joy as rewards. From “Letting Go”, “We surrender a feeling by allowing it to be there without condemning, judging or resisting it. We simply look at it, observe it, and allow it to be felt without trying to modify it. With the willingness to relinquish a feeling, it will run out in due time.”
Still, I had hoped for a short cut, a magic pill, an answer that doesn’t lead me directly to the reservoir of intense emotions I have desperately sought to avoid. Beginning to practice surrendering and vulnerability, even though I feel deeply raw and wildly uncomfortable, there is a sense that this is the way to a wholehearted (and joyful) life.
The image of a roller coaster keeps showing up today, as a life metaphor. I bought a ticket and got on, but I’ve been asking not to have to go up so high, or down so fast and far, when really I came in to do just that, have a thrilling ride, feel my stomach up in my throat, scream and laugh and cry so hard, I can barely breathe. Fun?
I’m ready, let’s go.