Pamela Wilson: When you see your body and thought as your devotees, you have a completely different relationship with them

 

Ramana used to say, “I would follow a devotee into hell if need be.” So when hell or agitation arises in the body, it’s luring the satguru out of the heart. Everything is an invitation for the Buddha to awaken and bring peace, even to the body. It calls for the laying on of hands, the welcoming and soothing. Even doubt is asking for your love. Doubt is talking to you, saying, “Master, is this true?”

When you see your body and thought as your devotees, you have a completely different relationship with them. Where else are they going to go for truth?

– Pamela Wilson

What’s surfacing in me of old wounds, traumas, and emotional issues are surfacing to be seen, felt, understood, loved, and met with kindness. As Pamela says, they are like devotees seeking the guru, and the guru is me and the kindness, understanding, and awakening that is here.

These parts of me were created from separation consciousness, and they seek a consciousness that’s a little less separate so they can be welcomed, included, and perhaps join in this less-separate consciousness.

It may not be “perfect”. I may know of others who can do this from more kindness, wisdom, understanding, insight, and awakening. And yet, whatever is here is enough. It’s enough for these parts that were created, mostly, a long time ago and from a much stronger and denser separation-consciousness. They live in a stronger contraction than my current global consciousness.

As long as I meet them with some receptivity, curiosity, and wish to relate to them as devotees – or perhaps scared children or animals – that’s more than enough. That, in itself, is healing. That, in itself, is transforming.

This is the beginning of self-compassion, and it’s a beautiful and transformative journey. And I am doing it not only for myself but also for my ancestors (who may not have been able to do it for the patterns that were passed down through the generations), for future generations, and for humanity and Earth. Even a little drop has ripples that may go out further than I know.

This not only transforms our relationship to ourselves and the pained parts of us – it also changes our relationship to our body, animals, nature, and other people. We also transform our culture, even if it’s only the culture we carry with us, and that tends to ripple out too.

Awakening = befriending life

 

What is awakening about? There are many ways to answer that question, and one way is to say it’s about befriending life.

Befriending life can be as simple (and difficult!) as befriending our experience as it is in immediacy. And especially the experiences that my human self doesn’t like and tend to recoil from. How is it to befriend it? What happens? What fears does it bring up in me? How does it feel to befriend it, or to make small steps towards befriending it?

We can also befriend parts of us (subpersonalities), for instance through dialogue. We listen to what it wants to tell us. Get to know it. Relate to it as a good friend, as much as we can. That, and other forms of inquiry, helps us befriend our experience.

Befriending life in this way is an aspect of awakening, and it can prepare the ground for awakening, but in itself it’s not really awakening.

Awakening is when what we are – that which all experience happens within and as – notices itself. It’s when the divine recognizes all – including that which our personality likes the least – as itself. This can happen all at once, but usually happens more gradually and in steps.

For instance, the divine may take itself to be a separate self while it intuitively senses what it is or experiences it in glimpses. And then it gradually recognizes that it is the divine recognizing itself as all there is. The “center of gravity” of what it takes itself to be shifts from a separate being and more into the wholeness of what it is. As part of this, it may also find itself as capacity for all there is. And it may keep on discovering and experiencing new aspects of itself.

We can say that this too is befriending life. It’s life befriending itself as all there is. It’s life noticing itself as life. It’s life shifting its identification from taking itself as a part of itself (this human self) and into itself as a whole, and as that which content of experience happens within and as.

There are also other sides to awakening. For instance, allowing our human self (psyche, subpersonalities) to heal and align within this “new” context of all as the divine. To live from what we are noticing itself, and explore and discover how to live from it. To mature within it. All of that is also life befriending itself.

So in all of these ways, we can say that awakening is life – or reality, or the divine, or the One – befriending itself.

See Why befriending life? for more on this topic, including why (perhaps) we life in a universe where this befriending isn’t the default for us.

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Welcome, God

 

Earlier today, I noticed some slight discomfort, sadness, and impulse for it to change.

And then welcome, God. To the discomfort, sadness, and impulse for it to change. And as a reminder to myself that it’s all Spirit. It’s happening within and as awakeness. It’s the play of life. It’s life experiencing life.

It’s also a reminder of how spiritual practices are made. Something happens spontaneously, as welcome, God did. We find it helpful to ourselves. And sometimes, it’s passed on to others. To be more useful, it’s often made into a structure or a kind of prescription. And sometimes, it’s helpful to someone else, and sometimes not.

Either way, it’s something that initially happens spontaneously. Is found to be helpful. There is an impulse to pass it on to someone else. (Often as a kindness.) It is made into something slightly more structured. And it is then helpful or not, depending on the person and the situation they are in.

This particular one is helpful if we have seen (as a glimpse) or continue to see (when we look) all as Spirit. But we sometimes need a reminder that some manifestations of Spirit – such as discomfort or an impulse for something to change – also are Spirit. So we can then try welcome, God as a reminder, and see what happens.

Note: We can say welcome, God to anything. Situations. People. Emotions. Thoughts. Whatever it may be that we initially don’t recognize as Spirit. Whatever we don’t automatically recognize as Spirit due to old habits of calling some thing bad, undesirable, or just not the divine.

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Welcome home

 

When I welcome home whatever experience is here, I notice it happens in different ways.

There is a welcome in a very ordinary way. You are welcome here. You are welcome here as you are.

There is a welcome through noticing and allowing. And there is a welcome when I notice the experience is already allowed. It’s already allowed by life, awareness, presence. It’s already welcome, already home.

And there is a welcome through presence recognizing all as itself. The experience – as presence – is already welcome, already allowed, already home.

What type of experience can be welcomed in this way? Any experience, and especially those I tend to perceive as uncomfortable or unwanted. It can be an emotion, a state, pain, discomfort, cravings, or uncomfortable experiences of who I am (identities) or what the world is.

And how do I welcome it? Often, I say silently to the experience you are welcome here. And I repeat it quietly and gently a few times until I feel it, and then a few times more. Through this, I may also notice that the experience is already allowed. It’s already welcome, and already home. And I may notice that it’s all presence. The experience is presence. It’s happening within and as the presence that’s already here. And as presence, it’s also already allowed, already welcome, and already home.

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Welcome home

 

This came up in a conversation with a client today.

When we welcome shunned parts of our experience, it’s a welcome home.

We can support this welcome through ho’oponopono, I am sorry, please forgive me, I love you, thank you. Or saying things like thank you for protecting me, thank you for your love for me. (We ask for forgiveness for how we have treated these shunned parts of our experience, we love them since they are us, and we thank them for still being around and for showing us these dynamics. Also, these parts are here to protect us, and they come from love in a very real sense.)

What I was reminded of with this client today is another phrase: Welcome home. And even, welcome to the family. We welcome the shunned part home. We welcome it to our internal family.

Welcome with the intention of having it go away

 

There is a common phase where we (a) recognize it doesn’t work to try to make something (a painful experience or part of us) go away, (b) shift our strategy to welcome it, find love for it, meet in in inquiry, and (c) do it with the intention of having it go away.

We basically say welcome, now go away.

No wonder it doesn’t work. We still want it to go away. And what we are trying to get rid of knows. It says I know what you are up do. It’s not going to work. 

It knows what we are trying to do. It’s not fooled. And the reason it knows is that it’s me. Whatever is here, is who and what I am.

So what’s the solution? It’s to include the wish for it to go away. To include it in the welcoming, the resting, the inquiry.

It’s to welcome the desire to have it go away. To see it’s already here. It’s already allowed.

It’s here to protect me. It comes from a deep concern for me. It comes from kindness. It comes from love. This recognition makes it easier for me to return the favor. To meet it with kindness. Meet it with love.

Rest with it. Notice. Allow. Rest with it in kind presence.

Inquire into it. What’s the belief behind it? What to do I find when I examine it? (The Work.) Can I find the perceived threat in the apparently threatening experience? (Living Inquiries.)

This help shift us into the next phase. A phase where we more genuinely welcome what’s here. Find love for it. Rest with it. Inquire into it, to see what’s really there.

It’s a phase where we recognize more genuinely that what’s here is OK. It really doesn’t have to go away.

First, there is a more conventional phase where we battle what’s here, where we try to make whatever seems uncomfortable go away. Then, we sneakily try to make it go away by welcoming it, allowing it, resting with it. And then, we see that it really doesn’t have to go away. We find peace with it, as it is. We more genuinely welcome it. Rest with it. Inquire into it to see what’s already here.

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What would I have to feel?

 

What would I have to feel if I didn’t (do this addictive/compulsive thing)?

What would I have to feel if I didn’t….. reach for the phone, listened to a podcast, called a friend….. right now?

And then feel it. Drop into the feeling. Notice any associated images and words, while still feeling it.

I have run away from these uncomfortable feelings most of my life. Why not do the opposite? Why not feel them? Why not welcome them?

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. I love you.

Included in this is the discomfort itself, and also the impulse to do something about it, fix it, run away. Any reaction to what’s here, and any reaction to this reaction, is included.

All is included. Whatever is here is included.

Why it doesn’t have to go away

 

I have written a couple of other posts on this topic, but find I am drawn to writing something again.

Why doesn’t this experience have to go away?

It’s me. It’s who and what I am, here and now. (And here and now is all there is. Any thoughts of past, future, or present happens here and now.) Why would I want to push parts of me away? Why would I want the pain of rejecting parts of me?

It’s here to protect me. When I look, I find that anger, sadness, discomfort, joy….. it’s all here to protect me. It’s all here to protect this human self, and the (literally) imagined self. I notice that here and now, and I also see that these impulses are put in me through evolution, and is what has made the survival of all my ancestors possible.

It’s from love. It’s here to protect me, so it’s from love.

It is love. It’s a form of love. (See the two previous points.)

It’s awareness. When I look, I find it’s all awareness. Any experience is awareness. It’s all – all of what a thought may call a me, experiencer, emotion, sensation -part of a seamless field of awareness. (And when I look for awareness, that’s unfindable.)

It’s already allowed. This experience is already allowed…. by life, mind, existence. It doesn’t work to try to change that.

Anything else is painful. Trying to push it away is painful. It’s suffering. It’s struggle. It’s futile.

It’s a relief. It’s a relief to notice that what’s here is already allowed. It’s already welcome. It’s already love. It’s already who and what I am. The experience itself softens. There is a sense of coming home. There is a quiet, soft, deep sense of satisfaction.

P.S. One way to explore if an experience really has to go away, is is to ask oneself: Is it true this experience has to go away? 

It doesn’t have to go away

 

This is a very basic living realization, and one that is – in many ways – a turning point. (One of many turning points, or new chapters, in our experience of life.)

It doesn’t have to go away.

We are trained to think that we need to try to escape certain experiences or make them go away….. through distractions, going into thought, eating, finding pleasure, and more.

And yet, is that true? Most of us have tried this for a lifetime, and although it may seem to work for a while, it doesn’t really work. If I am honest with myself, I have to admit it doesn’t really work.

What if I tried something else? What if I tried the reverse? What if I felt the sensations, and found curiosity about the words, images, and sensations that seem connected into an unpleasant experience.

What I find here is that it doesn’t have to go away. When I hold it in presence, find love for it, feel the sensations, and inquire into the images and words, I see that it’s all OK. It can really be there. It’s already here so why not?

Also, I see that whatever is my experience here and now, is who and what I am. If I try to push it away, I am pushing parts of myself away. I am rejecting parts of who and what I am. Why not instead see what happens if I hold it in presence, meet in in love, feel the sensations, and inquiry into the words and images?

One of the things that happens if I do this, is that there is a softening or release of identification with the unpleasant experience. It happens, and I don’t have to act from reactiveness. I can find a more sane way of relating to it. I can find a more sane way of living my life.

Another is that I realize how much of the suffering (all of it?) was created through trying to escape from it, or make it go away. The suffering came from the struggle. And it was experienced as suffering, in a very basic sense, because I was struggling with myself, with who and what I am in the moment.

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I love you

 

Another simple exploration is I love you.

I can bring any part of me to mind, and say I love you, and especially those parts previously or habitually unloved.

Here is a couple of variations:

You are welcome here. I love you.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. I love you.

And….

What would satisfy you forever?

What are you really?

Often, being met with love is what these parts really want. Some of them have been rejected, dismissed, and seen as wrong or bad, for a long time. As they are finally met with love, something in them may soften and relax.

When I feel unloved, it’s because a part of me feels unloved, so I can turn around and meet it with love. And this turning around is in two ways. First, by turning towards this part of me. And then by turning from rejecting or ignoring it, to finding love for it. This also helps me see that it is a part of me. It’s not the final word about who I am as a human being, and it’s not who I am as a whole.

By welcoming it, I may notice it’s already allowed (by life, awareness), and there is a more intentional alignment with this allowing. By thanking it for protecting me, I may find that it’s there to protect me, or an image of me, a literally imagined me. Asking what would satisfy it forever, allows me to find that in myself, for this part of me. And asking what it really is may help me see what it’s made up of, which a thought may call awareness, or presence, or even love.

Why welcome it

 

Why welcome what’s here? Why welcome any experience? Any words, images, sensations, sounds? Why welcome the experience of emotional and physical pain (when it’s already here)? Why rest with and allow our experience here and now, as it is?

I see a few reasons:

(a) Closer alignment with reality, with what’s already happening. It’s already allowed by life, mind and awareness.

(b) Pragmatic. It gives less discomfort, and can open for a new enjoyment.

(c) As an experiment. From curiosity. To see what happens. To do something different. (If what we have tried, and learned from parents and culture, gives distress, why not try something different? Why not try the opposite? If battling it doesn’t work, why not try welcoming it?)

(d) Because it’s what happens, it’s where life moves.

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Deepest desire

 

Some aspects of holding satsang with what’s here – emotions, images, thoughts, sensations, discomfort, restlessness, identification etc.

Welcome.

(a) Welcoming what’s here. (b) Notice it’s already welcome. It’s already allowed to be as it is.

This is (a) setting an intention of welcome and (b) clear(er) seeing of what’s already here.

It’s an opening to what’s here.

Thank you.

Thank you for your protection. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love.

This is an opening of the heart to what’s here.

Love.

I notice it comes from love. It is love. And that makes it easier for me to find love for it.

When I notice it is love, love is already here, love is already found.

Ask.

How would you like me to be with you? (To the part, what’s here.)

What is your deepest longing? What would satisfy you forever?

Who are you really? How big are you? Do you have an outside?

And when it goes peaceful, and if it feels right: What in your field of experience would like your attention now? (To me globally.)

Invoked.

 These questions invoke a response. For instance, by asking what would satisfy it forever, just that may emerge. It may be helpful to stay with it for a while, feel it, allow it to sink in, and it’s not always needed to put a label on it. (Although if there is a label, it may be rest, love, acknowledgment etc.)

Some of these have more to do with the head center, the clear seeing, noticing what’s already here. Other have to do with the heart center, noticing and finding love. And yet other aspects has to do with the belly center, allowing it to sink in, feeling it, inviting it to reorganize me at an emotional level and in a very human way. And it’s all an expression of natural kindness and wisdom.

It’s an invitation for all the different very human parts of me to wake up to their beauty, their innocence, their love, and what they really are. It’s an invitation for all of these different parts to realize the nature of illusion, the appearances and discomfort created when they are not awake to what they really are, and for them to realize the nature of reality, what they really are. It’s an invitation for them to catch up with the clarity, love and wisdom that’s here globally, and for this global level to realize the nature of illusion and the nature of reality a little further, through the realization of these aspects of the psyche.

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Aspects of me feeling rejected or welcome

 

I keep noticing this:

When I reject parts of me – emotions, images, thoughts, identification, sensations etc. – these, quite naturally, experience themselves as rejected. They feel unloved, isolated, lost. And since they are parts of me, I feel that way.

And when I instead welcome them, thank them, find love for them, recognize them as love, invite them to recognize themselves for what they are, then they feel welcome, loved, at home, liberated. And I feel the same, since they are parts of me.

It’s very obvious. And yet, since most of us are trained to push away parts of ourselves and our experience, it may not be so obvious until there is an intentional exploration of this.

As usual, there is a lot more to explore here. What is this “I” rejecting or welcoming? Is there just rejecting or welcoming? And what is this rejecting and welcoming? Is it really what it at first appears to be? It is possible to reject, is it true?

Healing

 

Two basic approaches to healing is (a) to fix the problem “out there” in the world, in the body, in the mind, and (b) to heal our relationship with it, and these are complementary.

What I find interesting is that in healing for others (through prayers, visualizations etc.), these two approaches can also be used.

(a) I can ask for healing of a specific ailment. This is how I used to do it, through connecting and then inviting in healing and shifts. It worked, and yet didn’t feel quite right. It comes from an assumption that I know what’s best for the other person, me, and the world. This can be remedied by asking for the “highest good” or “Your will be done”, although it doesn’t necessarily change the basic assumption that I know what’s best. (Which I – as thinking mind, as personality – clearly do not.)

(b) I can heal my (and our collective, cultural) relationship to it in myself. So, in relation to whatever the ailment or problem appears to be, whether physical, mental, social, or in any other area, I can explore the following:

You are welcome here.

I am sorry for having pushed you away. I am sorry for having seen you as wrong.

I love you.

And if it’s in the psyche (distress, anger, grief etc.):

Thank you for your protection of [the person]. Thank you for your deep devotion to [the person]. Thank you for your deep love for [the person].

No matter what it is, I can invite it to a dialog:

How would you like to be met by me?

What is your function?

Who are you really? (Inviting it to notice itself through it’s layers: as a label, sensations, devotion, love, presence, awakeness.)

It is, as Pamela Wilson says, as holding satsang with what’s here, in this case the appearance ailment or problem. Meet it with respect, appreciation, love, understanding.

Not needing it to be anything different from how it is. Not needing it to go away or stay.

And if something comes up in me as I explore this – any desire for it to change, any hesitation, any fears – then that can be met in this way too.

As I meet something and recognize it’s complete innocence and love, it doesn’t have to change. How I relate to it changes. And that, sometimes, allows it to shift and move on, within its freedom to stay or shift.

When I push anything away, I push myself away

 

This is something I first noticed a long time ago.

When I push anything away – an experience, a person – I push myself away.

And it happens in several different ways.

What I push away is my image of what’s pushed away, and that image is part of me, it’s what I am. My psyche is battling itself.

When I push away something in the “wider world”, I push away the same in myself. It’s inevitable.

When I push away something in the “inner world”, I push away something that’s part of me.

And it’s all my psyche battling itself, my mind battling itself, awakeness in its form of appearances battling itself.

It’s uncomfortable. It’s impossible to push anything away. It’s hopeless. It’s a dead end.

And the parts of my psyche I push away feel rejected, isolated, afraid, so I feel the same.

The way out is to go in the other direction.

You are welcome here.

Sorry for having pushed you away.

I love you.

And as always, I am free to take care of myself, to live from loving intelligence to the extent it’s available to me.

Opening to what’s here, finding welcome for it, finding love for it, and noticing that these are already here, opens for living more fully from loving intelligence.

Unlovable, unloved, missed out of a loving relationship

 

Sometimes, the part of me that feels (deeply, profoundly) unlovable, unloved, and having missed out of loving relationships comes up. It feels very young, and quite wounded.

When I feel into it, I find hurt, sadness, anger, isolation.

To this part of me: What do you really want, what would satisfy you forever?

I want to be loved by a woman. I want to be loved by my mother. I want to be loved by my school mates in elementary school.

Feeling deeply lovable, deeply loved (by you, everyone) would satisfy me forever.

How is it to meet it with love right now? How is it to feel it, take it in? (Deeply nourishing, healing, medicine.)

What is that part of you really? (From the “outside”: An image, sensations, an image innocently trying to protect an image of me, love, presence.)

Who are you really? (To the part: I am presence, awareness, love.)

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All is well vs fixing

 

When someone’s mythology is breaking down, she is moving from relying on the mind with its future – based trouble – shooting, “ analyze and address ” mentality to relying on the heart, on a radical and surrendered being – here in the moment and meeting what’s here in its most fundamental energetic form . It is  remarkably soothing for the client to be met by a relaxed, open therapist who has the sense that “all is well” no matter what symptoms the client is experiencing. Contrastingly, it is remarkably distressing for the client to be met by someone who is unconsciously or consciously unnerved by her condition who disguises that as being alternatively “helpful” and then frustrated when the client does not use or benefit from her suggestions.

It is tremendously useful for a client to be in the presence of a being who does not view the passage as a travesty, but rather as a necessary though painful transformation from reliance on a sense of separated personhood to a joyful reliance on God. In truth, how fortunate is the one who is besieged by the Dark Lord! Yet, t he client’s agony and desperation to solve the dark night will bring up anything that remains in a therapist that is not comfortable with simply “being here” in the unknown and embracing whatever rises. It is easy to become identified with the need to b e a “good therapist” and provide a solution, but this is exactly the opposite of what is useful. Any suggestion or hint at trouble – shooting , any desperation on the part of the therapist about the client’s situation , will further plunge the client into despair . The very mentality she has failed at applying and is leaving behind through no choice of her own is th at of fixing or troubleshooting. B y the time she has found you, she has already tried everything in her power to “fix” herself and has failed. By far the single most helpful characteristic of a therapist for such a client is the willingness to be with whatever arises without any sense that anything is wrong.

– Jeannie Zandi in Dark Night: The Breakdown of the Mythology of Me

This fits my experience as well. The people I find it most helpful to work with or talk with – including Barry and Adyashanti – all have a deep sense that all is well. They have gone through the process themselves, they know the terrain and the larger picture, and they know deeply that all is well as it is. The approaches that work well for me also comes from this “all is well” place – Breema, TRE, The Work etc. (And the ones that tries to “fix” me does not work, and tends to bring a quite strong backlash. I often end up in bed for days afterwards. These include any diagnostic oriented approaches, it seems.)

And that’s also the most helpful way for me to relate to myself and my own process. Meet what’s here with love. Notice it’s already allowed. Notice how it is, in many cases, from a wish to protect me, and innocent love. Inquire into deeply held images and thoughts about it, to find what’s more real and true.

And that includes welcoming any impulse to fix it. Notice it’s from a wish to protect and is innocent love. Notice it’s already allowed. Inquire into these images and thoughts that what’s here is wrong, and something else is better.

Meeting the primal dread

 

It is as though Love is calling for an embodied radical openness and surrender, and out of fear, the creature fights that invitation somewhere in the body and a clench results. It’s as though the creature of the body is screaming, “Noooooo!”

– Jeannie Zandi in Dark Night: The Breakdown of the Mythology of Me

I am familiar with this primal dread that seems to sit in the body. I notice a part of me that wishes to run from it, and into thoughts and other distractions.

Eventually, running away from it seems pointless. The dread is still here, and the running away from it is in itself uncomfortable, it’s not very satisfying, and it takes me away from activities that are more rewarding (meditation, rest, staying with an activity).

I see that the impulse of running away comes from a wish to protect me, it comes from innocent love.

How would it be to meet the dread, and the impulse to run away?

You are welcome here.

I am sorry for having pushed you away.

Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

How would it be to quietly meet it, welcome it, find love for it? What happens when I open my heart to it?

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Who would it like to be met by?

 

When a wounded/fearful aspect comes up, ask: Who would it like to be met by? (Who in me, which aspect of me.)

When a belief comes up, ask is it true? When I find the knowing it’s not true, meet the feeling associated with the belief with the knowing it’s not true. Hold it in love, and the knowing it’s not true.

Hold satsang with the wounded, fearful parts, the beliefs. Meet with wisdom, love, presence, sincere inquiry.

Ask the divine (God, Christ) for help. Ask for the light of the divine to shine on this, let it all be seen, held in love and wisdom.

Note: A part of the dark night of the soul, for me, has been temporary loss of capacity to meet what’s here – the wounds, the fears, the beliefs, the victim. Now, it seems time for a shift into finding this capacity again, becoming more familiar with it again.

What am I not willing to feel right now?

 

Whenever I notice a contraction, it seems to include an impulse to escape my current experience – into distraction, thought, analyzing, hopes/fears about the future, regrets about the past. It’s uncomfortable, and it feels a bit desperate. I am, in a sense, leaving myself.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

 Another question I sometimes (quietly) ask myself is:

What am I not willing to feel right now?

Is it true I am not willing to feel it? How is it to feel it?

The feeling I am – initially – trying to escape, is often the one that shows up as the most uncomfortable and dense in immediate experience. When it’s allowed its words, it tells me it feels rejected, isolated, unwanted, unwelcome, unloved – because it is. And all it wishes is to be met, seen, felt, welcomed, recognized as love, loved. It wishes to be welcomed as it is. It wishes to be recognized for what it is, both in its initial appearance (fear, anger, sadness, grief), for its intention (to protect me), and for where it comes from (devotion for me, love for me). And it wishes for liberation – through being allowed its life, through inquiry into whatever images and thoughts held as true creating it, through being recognized for what it is in its nature (awakeness, presence, love).

The nature of illusion

 

A few things about the nature of illusion.

It’s created from mind holding an image or thought as true, often at an emotional or even energetic level.

This image or thought held as true comes with an identity and a perspective on the world.

It also creates a deficient self, or a sub-personality or voice.

This deficient self is suffering. It’s in pain. It’s in fear. It seeks – even without knowing it – liberation from this suffering. The image or thought held as true seeks, in a sense, liberation from being held as true.

The impulse to hold an image or thought as true comes from a desire to protect or support an apparent me or I. It comes from devotion to this apparent me and I. It comes from love for this apparent me and I. It’s innocent love.

There is wisdom in this love. There is intelligence in it, in a conventional sense.

It’s often innocently misguided as well.

These deficient selves may run and operate even if the nature of reality has been realized in a general sense. There may be a general and global realization of the nature of reality, and at the same time, there are these deficient selves here which still live in confusion.

These deficient selves are often habitually rejected, pushed away, made wrong (even as they are identified with). They feel lost, rejected, isolated, unloved, because they are. And that makes the global self – what I take as me – feel lost, rejected, isolated, unloved.

They wish to be seen, felt and loved, as they are. They wish to be welcomed. They wish to be recognized for what they are: devoted to the apparent me, loving the me, innocently holding onto images and thoughts as true, in an attempt to protect and support this me. They wish to recognize themselves as this.

They wish to be recognized as awakeness and presence, taking these forms, and they wish to recognize themselves as awakeness and presence.

They wish for the apparent me – what I take as me – to see, feel, and love them. Welcome them, as they are. Recognize them for what they are. And through that, they can do the same for themselves. Through that, they can find liberation.

A sage will see, feel and love others for what they are, as they are, and this allows them to meet themselves in the same way. And these deficient selves are no different. They wish me – what I take as me – to be a sage for them, to see, feel and love them as they are. Meet them, as Pamela Wilson says, in satsang.

So how can I do this? It’s more a recognition than a doing. It’s a recognition of what’s already here.

The hurt self comes up. There is an image of a hurt self. There are thoughts coming up along with it. There is sadness. Heartache. A sharp sensation in my heart. A heaviness. For each of these, and for the whole of it…..

Can I find where it’s already allowed – by life, by awakeness, by presence? Can I find where I wish to intentionally join with this allowing? If so….

You are welcome here.

Can I find where its here to protect me? Where it wishes the best for me? Is so….

Thank you for protecting me.

Can I find its devotion to me? Its love for me? If so….

Thank you for your love for me.

Can I find where I have made it into an enemy in the past? Where I have rejected it?

I am sorry for having made you into an enemy.

Can I find its strength? (For instance in resistance.) If so….

I need your strength. I don’t wish it to go away.

Can I find the intelligence and wisdom in it? (In a conventional sense.)

Thank you for your intelligence and wisdom.

Can I find where it’s perhaps (also) innocently misguided?

Thank you for your love.

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Reality, love, wisdom

 

I notice that what’s here – this physical pain, this emotion, this fatigue, this resistance, this fearful image – is already allowed. By intentionally welcome it, I join with what’s already here. I intentionally join with reality.

You are welcome here.

I notice that what’s here – the pain, the emotion, the resistance, the fatigue, the fearful image – is here to protect me.

Thank you for protecting me.

I see it’s devoted to me. It comes from love.

Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love.

In this, there is a noticing of what’s already here. There is wisdom in recognizing the nature of illusion, at least to some extent. And there is love. It loves me, I find love for it.

It’s all very quiet. A very quiet noticing. A wordless inquiry. A silent draw to and interest in what’s real.

Welcoming the difficulty in welcoming what’s here

 

As I wake up this morning, I notice an all-encompassing sense of hopelessness (another layer revealing itself), and I notice a difficulty in meeting and welcoming it.

I find a very quiet welcome, a quiet thank you for it’s protection and love for me. Still, it feels difficult.

How would it be to welcome the difficulty in meeting and welcoming what’s here?

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

I notice the difficulty in meeting what’s here is already welcome, it’s already allowed. When I notice it’s here to protect me, there is thankfulness. When I notice it’s devotion to me and love for me, there is love – it’s for me, and mine for it. And there is a shift. A relief. A release.

Tense, lost, alienated vs welcome, loved, at home

 

It seems astonishing when first discovered, and also very simple and obvious.

For most of my life, I have pushed away and struggled with my experience. I have trained myself in pushing away, and I have created a good deal of suffering for myself that way. I tie myself up in a knot.

There is a simple dynamic at play here: I push away parts of myself and my experience, these feel tense, lost and alienated, so I feel tense, lost and alienated.

It’s amazing how simple and powerful it is to instead welcome what’s here. It seems so natural, so healing. I find the love I am seeking, the sense of coming home I have longed for.

I welcome what’s here, thank it for protecting me, thank it for it’s love for me, and perhaps thank it for it’s courage in relaxing, and let it know I need it’s strength.

And there is a simple dynamic at play here too: It feels welcome. Appreciated. Recognized for what it is. (A strategy of protecting, coming from love). It feels welcome, loved and at home, so I feel welcome, loved, and at home.

This supports me in living from this in my life – in how I relate to myself, others, and the world.

And it invites my creative and kind intelligence to be lived through my life, in how I relate to myself, others, and the world.

A fear that welcoming it will make it worse

 

I guided a friend through the Unfindable Inquiry, and then switched to welcoming.

What comes up first is a negative self. I have always been negative. People are alienated from me. 

Then an impulse to make it worse. Feeling bad, I want to feel even worse. 

And in welcoming that impulse, a fear that welcoming it will make it worse.

I invite her to welcome that one as well.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your devotion to me.

She says it feels peaceful.

I have found this for myself. There is a fear of welcoming what’s here, partly because it’s unfamiliar, and partly because I fear it will make it worse.

So I can welcome that fear too, thanking it for protecting me, notice its devotion to me.

As it’s welcomed, it may relax. And I may thank it for it’s courage.

Thank you for your courage. Thank you for the courage it takes to relax.

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Hameed Ali: Resisting something is one good way to preserve it in the form that we experienced it to begin with

 

It takes a subtle and full understanding of our own field of experience and of how to live harmoniously within it to understand what to do with an external force. In the meantime, we can only do our best until we get to that point. The more we understand how we respond to what is arising within us, the easier it becomes to learn how to deal with what is arising outside of us, so to speak. (At some point, we recognize that whatever happens is not really outside of us.)

When we are pushing against our experience, fighting it off, it doesn’t have the opportunity or the space to be itself. And if it doesn’t have the chance to be itself, it doesn’t have the chance to unfold. And if it doesn’t have the chance to unfold, it doesn’t have the opportunity to reveal its nature. So it continues to be whatever manifestation initially arose. In other words, resisting something is one good way to preserve it in the form that we experienced it to begin with. We resist, hoping to get rid of it, but what we are actually doing is encapsulating it and keeping it in its original form or expression.

– Hameed Ali, Unfolding Now.

This fits my experience, and I wouldn’t say it so strongly. Is it true it’s preserved in it’s initial form? Sometimes it may seem that way. Other times not. And if I look closely, I see it’s not really true. And I also see it’s true that welcoming it – whatever the experience is – does allow it to reveal it’s true nature.

If it’s a contraction, it may reveal images and thoughts behind it, creating the contraction when held as true. It may reveal other emotions, for instance anger may reveal sadness, which in turn may reveal a more basic fear. It may reveal images about the past or the future. It may reveal what’s there as here to protect me, support me. It may reveal love and devotion behind its impulse to protect me. It may reveal it’s strategy as innocently misguided. It may reveal it as awareness, presence, love. It may reveal all that’s here – including appearances of subject (me, I), object (an emotion, contraction, discomfort, a world), and relationship (resistance, welcoming) as all happening as awareness, presence, love.

Love as the universal solvent

 

I keep finding how love is the universal solvent.

A deficient self is here.

You are welcome here. I find where it’s already welcome, and where I genuinely and intentionally welcome it.

Thank you for protecting me. I find where it’s intention is to protect me, to keep me safe, to do the best it can for me. It’s love.

I notice it’s strategy may be innocently misguided.

I find it’s awareness, presence, love.

I love you. I find my genuine love for it.

I find how it’s love in it’s intention to protect me. I find where it’s love as awareness, presence. And I find my love for it.

Fatigue as protection and love

 

In my session with Pamela Wilson, fatigue, numbness (of the heart and brain) and brain fog came up.

You are welcome here. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love for me.

In what way is it innocently protecting me? Fatigue keeps me from being out there in the world, from meeting other people, from risking being hurt. And numbness and brain fog does the same.

I lean as close to you as I can

 

Because the one I love, lives inside of you, I lean as close to you as I can.
– Gina Sala

If all is what I am (aka awareness, God, Spirit), then feeling what’s here, welcoming what’s here, is what I am meeting itself, feeling itself, welcoming itself. In a more poetic language, it’s God feeling itself, welcoming itself. Spirit feeling itself, welcoming itself.

There is a natural draw to this, and also ambivalence. Images and thoughts, when taken as true, says something terrible may happen if I lean close to what’s here (if they see what’s here as undesirable or wrong), or that something else is more important (if it’s seen as ordinary, mundane). In this case, these are the guardians of the treasure. These are the ones protecting the appearance of a separate self, a me or I (subject) experiencing (relationship) an emotion, a physical pain, an image or a thought (object). 

Leaning away from what’s here, from this emotion, physical pain, discomfort, image or thought, the story that what’s here is wrong, is not God, is not awareness, is not love and innocence, is lived as true and reinforced. The story that something terrible will happen if I lean close, or that something else (a distraction) is more important, is lived and made to appear more true. 

Leaning close to what’s here, reality has an opportunity to reveal itself to itself. 

 

Welcome the numbness

 

The dark night of the soul started when I moved to Wisconsin (for relationship reasons), and I stayed there even if my inner voice and guidance clearly told me to leave. After a while, my inner guidance shut down and my heart did as well. Now, there is a sense of numbness there, a numbness in my heart area. How is it to welcome it?

You are welcome here. You are already allowed, and I wish to intentionally welcome you as well.

I am sorry for having pushed you away. I am sorry for having made you into an enemy in my mind.

Please forgive me.

Thank you for being there for me. Thank you for your devotion for me. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for your love.

I love you. I love you as you are. I love you for being love. I love you for your devotion to me.

Also, how is it to meet it, welcome it, feel it? Where in my body is the numbness the densest? What happens when I meet it, stay with it, welcome it? Does it stay? Change into something else? Where does the trail of breadcrumbs lead me?

Waking dream: Chamber with silver and gold

 

I wake up early and notice the effects of having had sugar last night.

As food reactions so often do for me, this one brings up some old wounds, fears, regrets, and beliefs. It shows me some of what’s left.

After some initial struggle and resistance, there is a shift into remembering what I wish for myself: Recognize it all as God (as awakeness), notice how it’s all already allowed and welcomed, find in me where I – as a human being – welcome it, notice it’s from worried love, notice my love for it.

I am still quiet in bed, and drift off into a dream state. I am in a quite beautiful stone hall. The stones are very light grey with a level surface. A chamber under the floor reveals itself to me. It’s beautifully ornamented, from the Italian Renaissance, and contains a large amount of silver, some gold, and some jewels.

As there is a shift from identified mind (resistance, struggle, caught up in images and beliefs) to non-identified mind (noticing it’s already welcome, it’s awakeness, it’s worried love, it’s loved), a treasure reveals itself.

Reflections on inviting in healing

 

Since I have been graced with the gift of inviting in healing for others, and it seems to be quite effective, I have been curious about what’s going on here.

What’s been clear from the beginning is that it’s God that allows for the healing.

This can be done believing that there is a me and I here inviting in healing for another. Or it can be clear that it’s all happening within and as my own world of images, and as awakeness. (Some folks would say it’s God inviting in healing for itself, through the appearance of a human being here asking for healing for another human being.) It’s all happening within my world of images, it’s all happening within and as awakeness: The perceived problem, the asking, one person asking on behalf of another, the perceived healing.

Also, what’s the focus for the healing? One way is to invite the illness itself to heal. When I did this, it felt off. It rests on a series of assumptions, and these may not be as true as they initially appear. Another is to invite in healing for my relationship with the illness or perceived problem. Right now, this feels more comfortable.

When emotions or images surface in me, and I notice a tendency to push them away, I see that something else is more true for me.

(Can I find where it’s already allowed? Where it’s already welcomed by life, awareness? Can I find where I wish to consciously align with this reality? If so, then….)

You are welcome here. You are allowed to stay, as you are.

(Can I find where I have pushed it away? Where I have made it into an enemy in mind? If so, then….)

Please forgive me for having pushed you away for so long. Please forgive me for having made you into an enemy in my mind.

(Can I find where it’s devoted to me? Where it’s love? Where it’s worried love? If so, then….)

Thank you for being here for me. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love.

(Can I find where it’s from love? Where it’s love? Can I find my love for it? If so, then….)

I love you. I love you for being there for me. I love you for your devotion for me. I love you, for no reason.

When I do this for what surfaces in me, I find that this is the love these parts of me seek. The welcome and love I find for what surfaces is the love I seek for myself. Something falls into place. And it’s all from seeing what’s already here.

So why not see if I can find the same when I see discomfort, suffering or illness in others? Why not meet that the same way?

Whether a thought says this is emotion or image is mine, or that illness and suffering is his or hers, why not see what happens if I welcome it. If I find where I am genuinely sorry for having pushed it away, made it into an enemy. If I thank it. If I find my genuine love for it.

The “old” way of doing healing – perceiving separate beings and a problem out there to be fixed – doesn’t seem to work for me anymore. It’s not true for me, and never was. This approach feels much more peaceful for me, it seems to be the next step for me. And – so far – it even seems to “work” in terms of inviting in healing in a conventional sense. And it happens in a much more peaceful way, a way that feels more honest for me.

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Finding love, appreciation, and understanding for the tendency to hold images as true

 

How is it to find love, appreciation, and understanding for the tendency to take images and thoughts as true?

You are welcome here. You are welcome to stay. You are welcome to stay, as you are.

Thank you for being here for me. Thank you for protecting me. Thank you for wishing the best for me.

Thank you for being devoted to me. Thank you for your love for me.

I am sorry for having pushed you away. I am sorry for having made you into an enemy. I am sorry for having made you wrong, in my mind.

Please forgive me.

I love you. I love you for your devotion for me. I love you for being love. I love you, as you are.

The tendency to take images and thoughts as true – from the ones that thought will say are peripheral to the ones thoughts will say are basic and core – is innocent. It’s innocent love. It’s worried love. It’s beautiful, as it is.

And I notice that any tendency to make it wrong, to see it as a problem, to make it into an enemy, comes from taking images and thoughts as true. It’s another movement within this tendency.

When there I find some love, appreciation, and understanding from it, and it’s genuine, real, honest, something shifts. There is a softening of identification as this tendency. And if I notice a thought saying that’s better, then that too comes from this tendency. How is it to meet it with genuine love, appreciation, and understanding?

The third form of awakening: Integration

 

Most of what I write about here these days is the third form of awakening, a reorientation of the patterns of our human self so they align more closely and more consciously with reality, with what’s revealed when images and thoughts are examined.

And this can be referred to as integration. It’s an integration of parts of our human self, in a more conscious way, into reality as it’s revealed to us, our true nature, all as Spirit, or all as love. These parts of us were formed as images and thoughts were taken as true, often early in life, and continue to live and function in and through as as if these images and thoughts are true.

During and within, and sometimes before, the two other forms of awakening – an awakening (a) out of what images says is who I am, and an awakening (b) as all there is including these images – life invites in this third form or aspect of awakening. Whatever is not aligned with all as awakeness, all as love, comes to the surface to align more closely and consciously with this.

How can “I” support or more consciously align myself with this process?

Most simply, I can met and welcome whatever surfaces – whether they are emotions triggered by images held as true, or these images and thoughts held as true. I can notice they are awakeness itself, the play of awakeness. They are love. They are devoted to me. They are there to support me. They are there to protect me. They are worried love.

I can inquire into my thoughts about these emotions and images:

It’s overwhelming. It’s too much. Another experience is better / easier. It’s easier / possible to escape this experience.

It’s fear / sadness / anger. It’s an image. It’s a memory about the past. It’s a scenario about the future.

This emotion / image is mine. This emotion / image is separate from me. This emotion / image is other than me.

I can inquire into the images and thoughts behind and associated with these emotions:

I lost out. She abandoned me. I made a mistake. I am unlovable. (etc.!)

I can notice and welcome emotions and images/thoughts as awakeness/love, and also as an energy, a vortex keeping itself in place. I can allow it to spin, unwind itself. You are welcome here. You are allowed here, as you are. This is a safe place for you. (Noticing it’s already allowed, it already has a safe place, independent of how it’s met at a human level, and also my intention to notice this, and consciously welcome and provide a safe place for it.)

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Waking up out of the me, and as the me

 

As many say, one aspect of the awakening process involves waking up out of the me.

One way to wake up out of the me is to recognize it as experience, as any other experience, and meet it as a friend.

You are welcome here. Thank you for being here for me.

Thank you – the me, and taking the me as what I am – for being here for me. Thank you for your devotion for me. Thank you for your love for me.

I am sorry for having pushed you away. I am sorry for having made you – identification as a me – into an enemy.

Please forgive me.

I love you. I love you.

And if there is a distinction between the me and the I for me, as there is, then I can do the same for the sense of I – the observer, doer, chooser.

You are welcome here. Thank you for being here for me.

Thank you – the I and taking the I as what I am – for being here for me. Thank you for your devotion for me. Thank you for your love for me.

I am sorry for having pushed you away. I am sorry for having made you – identification as an I – into an enemy.

Please forgive me.

I love you. I love you.

As soon as I meet it – the image of a me as a human self, the image of an I as a doer/observer, and the identification as a me and an I – then something shifts. I notice more easily that it’s all happening within my world of images. I find more easily that it’s all happening as awakeness.

Through this, I may also notice that as there is a release of identification as the me and I, the me and I – and the tendency to identify as it – happens as what I am. It happens within my world of images, it happens as awakeness. The love found for it is Spirit finding love for itself. Love finding love for itself.

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Healing my relationship with what’s here

 

I’ll make this simple too:

It seems I have been gifted with the ability to identify – at least to some extent – what’s going on for another, and also invite in resolution and healing. And I haven’t used it much, other than in emergencies, because it’s always felt a bit off. And the reason it’s felt a bit off is quite simple: Who am I to say that what I see as healing and resolution is better than what’s here? Who am I to say it’s better than what we call pain, discomfort, illness?

So instead, why not find healing for my relationship to what’s here? Instead of healing what’s here, why not invite healing for my relationship to it?

Last night, I was asked to check in with a cat and possibly do healing, and today, I was asked to do the same for human belly cramps and headache. So instead of of I have done in the past – checking in, find curiosity for the path of resolution leading to healing, and inviting in and supporting that path – I did something else.

I checked in, got a sense of what was going on, and found where the following already is true for me in how I relate to this discomfort, pain, and illness:

You are welcome here. You are welcome here, as you are.

I am sorry for having pushed you away, for having made you into an enemy in my mind.

Please forgive me.

Thank you for being here. Thank you for supporting him (her). Thank you for coming from love.

I love you.

This comes from a recognition that all already is Spirit and Love. It’s God’s will, God’s love, and it is God and Love. And our discomfort and suffering comes from our relationship with what’s here, our struggle and making it into an enemy in our mind.

So by inviting in a healing of my relationship with it, something shifts. And, for me, the only comfortable way of doing it is to be very honest, very real.

Can I find where it’s already allowed, already welcomed (by existence, by God, by life, by awakeness)? Can I find where I genuinely welcome it?

Can I find where I am sorry for having pushed it away for so long? Can I find where I am sorry for having made it into an enemy in my mind?

Can I find where I genuine wish to ask for forgiveness?

Can I find where it – whatever I made into an enemy – comes from and is love? Where I am sincerely grateful for it being here?

Can I find my genuine love for it, as it is?

Inviting a shift in my relationship with the discomfort, pain, illness, may or may not be followed by a shift in the discomfort, pain, and illness itself. There are many reasons for this. Discomfort is created entirely from how I relate to it, from making it into an enemy in my mind. A significant part of pain is similarly created from how I relate to it, from making it into an enemy, holding onto my images and thoughts about it as solid and real. Even illness may shift as my relationship with it changes. As someone said, what we resist persist.

And if I notice a very natural impulse for the discomfort, pain or illness itself to change, can I welcome that too? Can I see where this impulse comes from love? Where it’s devoted to me, to my well being?

You are welcome here. Thank you for being here. Thank you for your devotion to me. Thank you for your love for me. I love you.

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Love

 

I keep returning to this:

Fear (unease, discomfort, emotional pain, physical pain, anger, frustration) surfaces.

When I remember, I thank it – sincerely, genuinely – for being there for me. For it’s devotion to me. For it wanting the best for me. I meet it with appreciation, understanding, love.

And it makes all the difference.

I also see what so many has reported before me, that most or perhaps all of the discomfort is from my resistance to what’s here.

Fear surface. I meet it with resistance. I see it as an enemy. And I experience a great deal of fear. It seems overwhelming, unmanageable.

Fear surface. And I meet it with thanks, with love, understanding, and appreciation. And it’s still there, as a friend, although very gently.

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Rumi: At the very moment you become content in affliction

 

Whatever God gives you, be content. At the very moment you become content in affliction, the door of paradise will open.
– Rumi

I find that too, although I would use a bit more sober wording for myself. This morning, I noticed discomfort in me, in my belly and chest area, a sense of unease, fear. Gently and quietly, I opened to it, met it, welcomed it as a friend, a lover. And it shifted. It was no longer something that the labels discomfort, unease, fear fitted. It was no longer discomfort, unease, fear.

There are many facets or layers to this.

One is to meet it, be with it, welcome it as a friend, stay with it. I can ask myself can I be with this? Is it true it’s not already allowed, already welcomed? Is it true it needs to change?

Another is to notice it shifting, changing, and staying with it, with curiosity, interest.

Another is to listen to it, let it speak to me, perhaps wordlessly, be open to what it has to show me.

Another is to let it speak to me in images and words, let it reveal the fears behind it to me, identify these fears and take them to inquiry.

Another is to explore it all in the sense fields. Where and how does the discomfort, unease, fear show up in sensations? How does it show up in images? Where and how does the me or I relating to it show up in sensations? In images? What’s the “substance” of these sensations, these images? Is it true it’s solid? Is it true it’s lasting? Is it all ephemeral? Consciousness itself?

Another is to notice that in my mind, the unease, discomfort and fear is an image, the I or me is an image, and how this I or me relates to the unease is an image. If there is battle and struggle, that happens among images. If there is peace and welcoming, that happens within the world of images. And all of this happens within and as what is, what “I” am.

And a final facet of this is to notice any impulse to want my experience to change, go away, for it to shift into something “I” desire. Is it true, I need it to change? Is it true, it would be better if it changed? Is it true, another experience is better – for me, others, the world? Is it true, I know what’s best for me? How would it be if it never changed? Could I still find peace with it, welcome it, meet it as a friend, a lover?

Sooner or later

 

Sooner or later, when we surrender to what we cannot control, we have to hold still & let the (inner) demons we have been running from catch up to us. There is no greater terror. But there can be no greater liberation than to face those demons held in the arms of our own compassionate nature and that which is larger than ourselves.
– Oriah Mountain Dreamer

I can see where it fits my experience, and I also see some potentially stressful thoughts to question in this quote:

I have to hold still. It’s an inner demon. There is no greater terror. It’s terror. It’s fear.

There is no greater liberation. It’s liberation.

What’s true in my experience is true for others / everyone else. (She used “we” instead of I.)