The facilitator had spent the vast majority of day two of this 5-day transformational training getting us in touch with our limitations – our pain – our self-sabotaging behavior and the way we berated our self with our negativity.
At the time, this kind of experience was new to me. My fellow participants seemed to be getting somewhere – digging into the depths of their wounds with shovels. I, on the other hand, felt like I was using a spoon. I just couldn’t seem to get beyond scratching the surface. “What is wrong with me?” I thought. I had certainly had my fair share of disappointments, childhood dramas and traumas, a broken heart or two. But something was keeping me from breaking through a very hard protective covering.
Well, that all changed when we were instructed to begin acting out these various parts of our self that held the pain, or the grief, or the fear/anger, or the despair.
“What would this part of you sound like? What would this part look like? What would it be saying? What are their words?” Those were the instructions for the process.
So here I was standing in a pod of about 40 fellow participants who were all mumbling, yelling, crying, moaning and stomping around. At first, I felt awkward and self-conscious. The words didn’t flow; my body resisted embodying my anger or grief. And it was in those first moments of this exercise that I realized the prison I was in.
We come into this life an open divine vessel of loving and joy. We are not armored against the world. We do not perceive danger or a need for protection. But for all of us, even if our growing up years were relatively trauma free, we develop protective devices. Ways in which we avoid feeling rejection, abandonment, loss, grief, separation and alienation and fear. Those are the dangers: to not belong even if belonging hurts. To be left out even if being included means abandoning our self. To not experience loss even if that means a part of us goes numb.
We believe the protection devices will shield us from the ‘dangers’ of life. But over time – they become our prison. We are the ones who are locked up – and locked in. Those frozen places inside calcify from fear and they stay buried and out of sight until one day – usually not chosen consciously – we find our self in a situation or circumstance that demands we break free.
But the resistance can be huge. There are many reasons that working with the fear underneath all the anger, guilt, hurt, grief can be confusing. The way that fear gets hardwired in our psyches is complex.
First, we avoid feeling the fear so we mask it. Then we create limiting beliefs about fear so we create more ways to distract or deny it. And finally, but probably the hardest to work through – the fight or flight response is hardwired in our system – so to finally get down to the energy of fear that is frozen or locked away in our body can be a very frightening experience. And there can be a part of us that yells, Danger! Don’t go there!
No wonder I felt like I was only spooning the surface of what was underneath. And, no wonder that when I realized I was the one that had put me into the prison of my own making I could no longer tolerate the confinement and allow my inner Warden to keep me there.
So I went for it. Today, I have no idea what I said or how I acted. What I remember about that experience is my body was shaking, my stomach was nauseous and tears were streaming down my face. It didn’t occur to me to stop or say that is enough. And I had no idea where I would finally land. What could possibly be on the other side of all this yuk?
Eventually, the facilitator stopped the process and we were all instructed to lie down on the floor. I collapsed exhausted and completely drained into a heap not really aware of my surroundings. But I was very aware that my mind was not working and what I called ‘feelings’ were not present. I was somewhere I had never been before. And there was electrical energy pulsating all through my body.
Then suddenly, someone was covering me with a soft blanket. And then they were lovingly stroking my hair and whispering words like, You are so loved. You are so taken care of. You are so watched over and protected. All is well.
And hearing those comforting and loving words transported me into what I now know was a state of grace. I was surrounded with a pure golden energy of unconditional loving – and every cell of my body began to vibrate with its frequency. And I experienced, maybe for the first time since I was a baby, complete and total safety. My need for protection was gone. My prison walls had been destroyed. I had landed in a very soft, warm and safe place. I had broken through to the loving that was beyond the fear.
Discovering that loving was holding all the pain and fear and despair was a revelation. If someone had ‘told’ me that unconditional loving would be where I would eventually land I would have laughed at them. I had to have the experience first – and then I knew.
Discovering that loving is beyond our deep fear of letting go of the need for self-protection is what self-mastery teaches. The frequency of Loving is expansive. Fear, on the other hand, is contractive. Practicing the self-mastery tools creates space and lightness inside. Then the energy of loving can fill the space with its warm, soft presence. And over time, using the tools, we create inside our self that ‘soft place to land’.
Want to know more about self-mastery and have the experience of discovering the loving beyond the pain and fear?
LEARN MORE HERE
- Your Life as a Camino - January 11, 2018
- Camino of the True Self: Self-Image or Self-Esteem? - December 12, 2017
- Camino of the True Self - November 28, 2017
- The Important Lesson of “All In” - June 27, 2017
- Kathleen’s Story – The Human side of My Sacredness - May 3, 2017