Day 144 - Letting It In
Yesterday a friend sent me a quote by Jeff Brown that he felt addressed kind of what I feel like I have been going through. He reframed the issue, not in so much that I needed to let things go...that having a proper time and place, but that where I am is kind of beyond that...having moved over to the place where I need to let it in.
Letting it in is about having the courage to stay with the painful experiences, allowing them to permeate your being, psyche and life until they can become resolved. Now, nothing is forever resolved. Life not being something that is easily summed up and contained. “Now we are all done with that!” No, life, more of a meandering river that keeps you moving fonward, looping you back around every once in awhile.
Letting things in and through is about allowing things to remain in their unresolved state until they shift of their own accord. Then there is nothing to let go of...they are just gone or different or changed.
It is hard to allow things in. Hard to allow permeation. Feels like the whole of my life has been about not letting things in. Barricading and blocking. Deciding how to build walls and sometimes a fortress to keep things out. Letting things in is a shift in perspective. An about face.
Shame is a big pusher outer. When shame is ruling one’s life, it is very hard to allow things in. Shame taking up so much space on its own, that there isn’t really a lot of room for anything else. Shame, fear, guilt, regret. These are the things that can take up so much space that even if you were to let things in, there isn’t room.
I have come to think of myself as a filter. A being whose job it is to synthesize things. Emotions, feelings, thoughts. My purpose on this planet is to delve deeper into the things that I spent the first part of my life avoiding. I also feel like, maybe, I am suppose to help other people do this too...if they want to.
See I got it all wrong. I took painful experiences and closed the gates around them. Thinking that I was going to now be successful in keeping further painful experiences out and protecting myself from being further injured. However, that is not what happened.
My journey kind of like a medieval knight. I left the safety of the castle to go out into the world. I got my ass kicked hard by a big ass dragon (several actually) so I retreated back to the castle and then made it my life’s work to fortify the castle to defend against any future dragon attacks. However, what I did not realize was that I brought the dragon back with me. He politely sitting there while I ran around fortifying my defenses, too busy to really examine what was behind me. The dragon patiently waiting for me to settle down long enough to notice he was there.
It was quite a surprise when I turned and saw that the enemy was already within.
At first panic ensued. But having realize that I just spent the better part of my life, fortifying the castle walls, I knew that me getting out in a hurry to avoid the monster within was not going to be easy or realistic. So I had to think fast. If I couldn’t avoid the beast, perhaps I could come to know it better.
At first it was a careful, calculated death dance. Every step threatening to take me out. But then I realized that this beast was afraid also. It’s survival not sure, it being dependent on getting nourishment from inside these walls. My exterior so locked down that even a large reptile understanding that getting in was easy, getting out nearly impossible.
Ok, you get the picture...so here I am behind my carefully constructed walls (defense mechanisms, ideas, thoughts, stories, coping strategies) and my mantra being to let it all go. But I can’t. I can’t undo a lifetime’s worth of building. The walls too thick and strong. However, I can begin to let it in. I can open doors, windows, I can put the draw bridge down. The dragon within only fear manifested. A symbol of my lesser nature. Because I have taken the time to get to know it well, it seems less threatening. Less fierce. Less potent. In fact, this mighty dragon now smaller in size and magnitude. No longer really a threat to my well being because I have come to know it well over the years we were imprisoned together.
So that is where I am today. I have gone within. I have examined my fortress, read the blueprints, studied its pathways, halls and interior. I know the landscape well now. I have a PhD in me. I know all the places I am injured, strong and vulnerable. I have come to know them well. I have done the work to eschew the shame, guilt and pain that kept these parts of me so hidden for such a long time. Inside the walls, they have gotten sunlight and air, and they have healed.
Now my task it to let them in further. Not only them but you and your issues and problems and pain. To allow all the unfinished and sometimes unstated business to come in. Allow all the vissitudes of life to permeate and move into me and through me. No longer in need of the fortress for safety, I can just walk out of the castle and allow whatever I might meet along my path to come into my awareness and being.
I can let all the things that I thought I had to chase away come. I can let all the stories and thoughts about it in and give them permission to move on through. Letting in doesn’t mean locking down, cocooning things within. Letting in means allowing life to happen and having the courage to not block life from affecting you. For me, it means removing the bubblewrap and walking through life allowing people and events to affect me. Giving them time and space to get my full attention. Allowing them to stay long enough so that I come to understand their lesson, their meaning and their purpose. Then, allowing them to move through me at their own pace. No longer needing to hurrying them or deny their existence.
Letting go is a valuable skill. It has its place. It has its purpose. But where I am today, it is about letting it in and through. It is about being willing to allow myself to be occupied in ways that feel foreign and are in fact painful. It is allowing them in anyway. Nothing lasts forever, especially feelings. It is my willingness to sit with and allow the dragon to just be there. Allow it its proper place in my life. Allow its lessons to sink in and move through me, allowing them to become dislodged so it can move when the time is right. Besides, anyone who has ever tried to move a dragon knows, the dragon moves when the dragon is ready and not one minute before...