As I write this, I’m grieving the death of my mother who passed away six weeks ago. That familiar sense of steadiness that I always experience as I move through life has been present, but it’s been interspersed with times of sadness and just plain emotional pain.
In recent days, I’ve realized that I haven’t given these emotions much attention. I haven’t pushed them away, but I haven’t welcomed them in either. And I know they’ve been sitting there humming in the background, muting my usual zest for life.
I talk a lot with others about embracing all of our experience and not resisting anything. I know in my heart of hearts, and through my own experience, that avoidance sustains suffering and embracing brings peace. So I thought it’s now time to follow my own suggestions.
That means letting down any barriers that have been keeping my emotions at a distance and inviting these emotions fully into the field of conscious awareness.
I led a meeting called Living in Truth the other night where a woman described how she had recently been experiencing a lot of emotional turmoil. But during the guided meditation, things quieted down, and she became aware of the possibility of being with her emotions in a new way.
The phrase that came to her was, “There’s space for that.” Confusion, upset, panic about not knowing what to do? There’s space for that.
It was a phrase that resonated deeply with me, and it perfectly applied to my own experience. The sadness and loss that had been hanging around along the edges of my awareness? There was space for that.
Before I wasn’t ready and even enjoyed the idea of connecting to my mother through grieving. But now there is a shift. There’s space for the emotions and whatever else wants to come.
As I settle into the being aware of meditation, resistance falls away. I can feel how I’ve subtly turned away from these feelings, and now they are welcome in a great expansive space. There’s no dramatic insight or explosion of light. But there’s a sense of ease that comes as the doing of resistance comes to an end, and the feelings themselves become softer and more diffuse.
The sadness is sweet, and rather than being lost in my own story of loss, surprisingly, the connection with my mother is alive and joyful.
No matter how pure our intentions to be free, the events of life can catch us off guard. Without realizing it, we create division—between life as it’s actually unfolding and our stories about it, between awareness and our feelings, between what others are doing and what we want them to do.
But at any moment, when the time is right, it’s always possible to bring space to that. We put down the fight, and rather than letting anything go, we let it all come in, welcoming things just as they are.
What About You?
What can you bring space to in your own experience? What is that like for you? Please click here to visit GailBrenner.com and to comment.
Always in love,