Being with experiences cont.


‘Face the fear of not interpreting and stay with the experience’ an anonymous person in a chat room once said to me. That really hit home, right home, and hard. Yes, I felt fear directly being in an experience and used the interpretations as a way of separating myself from the experience. I have even been known to start talking intellectual mid amazing loved up sex! Anything but full submergence in what is happening, and feeling all the feelings that come up.
An old habit to protect myself from pain perhaps. Now that I have given myself full permission to be kind and caring towards myself, it has become less scary to open to direct experiences. I trust that I am capable of tending to my feelings, and is starting to sink in that I can look after myself, better than anyone else showed me how to. Actually they did quite a good job of showing me how not to care and nurture myself.
I have been learning new ways of soothing myself when I experience suffering. This has allowed me to move away from a reactive response to the feelings. I used to try all sorts of ways of not feeling, I would first try and deny the feeling, then I would try and intellectualise them out of existence, or maybe I would try and replace them with more positive feelings. None of it worked of course. I was just so scared, as I really had no clue how to sooth myself back then, and I didnt want to experience pain of course.
Now I have learned that if I lean into the feelings and allow them, they don’t hang around anyway. If I open the door to them, give them permission to be there and communicate what they want to say, then they move on, and they flow more smoothly. Then the next one comes and the next. The same way I deal with thoughts. ‘Hello scary thought, yes I hear you, thank you, goodbye’.
It is a remarkable discovery for me, to realise that I can ‘rescue’ myself in this way. I am at the early stages of this, and of gradually, little by little coming out of hiding from directly experiencing everything that I feel. Sometimes the intensity feels overwhelming, sometimes old habits of running away from feelings win. It is okay, there is no rush.What I am learning is how to be intimate with myself. It is a process that requires great tenderness, and there is no place for impatience. Or judgement either.
It has taken a lifetime to be able to admit that I feel jealousy, or greed or rage…or any feelings I would have judged myself for so very harshly before. Now it is a little fun game I have, admitting to people that I am a greedy, jealous, angry person, with a little humour of course…it feels so light to take the judgement out.

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