Monday, June 6, 2011

... letting be before letting go ...





Let yourself be in the emotion.  Go through it, give into it, experience it ... Then the most powerful energies become absolutely workable rather than taking you over, because there is nothing to take over if you are putting up no resistance.

~ Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche






We must let go of pain.  Ideally, by entering into it we become able to breathe so much freedom from within the pain that the deepest letting go can truly occur.  For this to happen, the naming of the pain, the letting it be pain for awhile, is essential.


~ Matthew Fox
American Priest and Theologian




20 comments:

  1. I've spent a lot of my life avoiding the emotion -somehow,being angry, sad, frustrated felt like it was more about me needed to be "better" rather thn just an honest response to my life.

    I sit with my emotions more now, and try to just let them flow and play with where I think they might be coming from. It's so freeing, and not always easy. I am holding the Rinpoche quote close to my heart.

    Another thoughtful post that changes my day, my life.

    Best to you!

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  2. To work with emotions and energies rather than against them. Yes. I am privileged to have had some experience of being able to let go of pain - going deeply through it, then beyond it. It is definitely possible. I think you know what I mean. The pain is always there - why shouldn't it be? - but somehow it's more bearable. I don't mean anaethetising against pain, going beyond it in the escapist sense. But recognising, meeting face to face, even embracing the pain (I think this is equally both an emotional and an intellectual process) - in order to regain some kind of meaning and equilibrium in one's life.

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  3. Marion: Yes, it is so valuable to look a little more deeply - under the anger or sadness to see what is there. Usually we meet our pain. It waits patiently for us to attend to it. Once we do our 'load' seems so much lighter.

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  4. Robert (Solitary Walker): Beautifully said. The pain of existence is always there, but if, as you say, we can work with it rather than against it - it has much to teach us.

    There is so much understanding, compassion and meaning to found by embracing our pain - as you tell us in your last sentence. It's not easy, but ultimately ever so rewarding.

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  5. i agree...and i was more of avoidance prior as pain and emo can be a very scary place, but there is so much freedom found when you are willing to enter into it...

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  6. Brian: So true - you find out that while difficult, it is not lethal.

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  7. I spent much of my youth trying to avoid pain, using alcohol and other drugs to numb it away and shut off my emotions. I can tell you first hand that doesn't work very well. Sooner or later you have to face the pain and learn how to live through it.

    Learning how to face my pain was one of the hardest things I ever did - but it gave me the strength and courage to face everything that life has thrown at me since.

    Pain is part of life. Embrace it. Live through it. Endure it. And live on.

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  8. Ahhh, the resistance I hadn't thought of before... I'm learning the leaning into the pain and sitting with it in learning to then release it, but this helps me to see what the experience does... no resistance can be built up if we move through it... good, healing thoughts to embrace. Love the artwork you've done to go with! Blessings to you Bonnie!

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  9. Jeff: Nothing to add. Thank you!

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  10. Vicky: Yes - pain just is. We turn it into suffering when we resist it. Resistance makes the pain hurt even more.

    Acknowledge~Allow~Attend~Accept~Appreciate

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  11. There's much wisdom, here, Bonnie, but the practice of that wisdom is difficult. Instinctively, we want to resist the pain. Ironically, however, the pain is exacerbated through resistance.

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  12. George: Yes, it is instinctive and we have to notice, accept and be with our resistance for a while - give it a voice -. Then, sometimes it relaxes a bit and allows us to sit with the pain.

    Guess the key is to accept and allow whatever is, then it relaxes, moves on ... and we can be with the next thing.

    So easy to say ....... :)

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  13. Me again - still in response to George's comment about how instinctive resistance is ... I recall when I first heard and then truly understood my daughter's diagnosis with cancer. I resisted with every fibre of my being despite what I knew. It almost seemed counterintuitive not to resist. I began to understand that my ego-mind needed space to react and it was reacting with resistance.

    These are natural functions and even tho' we are aware of more skillful ways of being, we have to be compassionate with ourselves until we can make our way there.

    Slow but sure ... no hurry, no worry ... once aware ... we can find our way there ... again.

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  14. It's rare that someone learns growing up how to really sit with emotions and just allow them to be, without fear of imploding or being overwhelmed. I was taught to distance myself from feeling by thinking about feelings -- my intellectual family seemed to think that was a lot safer and tidy. But it meant that I had to learn a new way of being as an adult, when I discovered that thinking about feelings doesn't at all get to the heart of things. Why is it that this society is so afraid of emotion instead of excited about its transformative potential?

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  15. Meri - One reason is the instant 'gratification' of not having to deal with something difficult. Another is we are comfort-seekers in this culture and sitting with painful emotions is not comfortable.

    Thanks for your always helpful and informative comments!

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  16. The scariest of emotions for me was the recent wrestling match with depression. Walking into it now, after reading these great pieces here, doesn't feel so threatening and fearful like it used to. Not that it is terribly peaceful, but it does get more familiar with time. And familiarity breeds...what....better blog postings? EFH

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  17. It can be a scarey place to be!

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  18. Strong picture´s, great words. Thank you for your visit and your words !

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  19. This are beautiful works of art!! I like the way you captured an intense emotion.

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  20. I applaud the hardy individuals who have learned to embrace pain. I will not embrace it - but - I will allow it to have a voice. I will sit patiently with it and respectfully listen to it. Its appointment time with me is brief. It needs to know it has a place, but not absolute domination. Sometimes I get lucky, it gets bored and bids me adieu.

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