05 March 2010

work in progress

Two recent books that have fed me-- Taking the Leap by Pema Chodron, and Feeding Your Demons by Tsultrim Allione. The first is worth purchasing-- the second, worth perusing in a bookstore as it's principles are easy to grasp without a million examples.

But both talk of the difference that occurs when we move from fighting against things in our lives, feelings, assumptions, habits, longings, and turn instead to welcome those things as messengers and opportunities for growth.

And one of the fights I have with the FEAR -- is that I hate feeling bad. I hate it. I love feeling good. So I panic when a "bad" feeling comes, will it stay? will I become nothing but fearful? will I be consumed and lost?

This is true for fear and grief and sadness for me-- a true fear that I will be eaten up.

What if, instead of fighting, I sit with what is. Like meditation. Here it is, the fear. Yup, I see you. What if I accept that it is ALSO there, not the only thing (Look! Joy! Cowering in the corner!). What if I say, yes, fear, I get you. I get that you feel you belong, and truly, given my history, you do belong. You do make sense here.

Then I take away the power of the fear to swamp me.

IN REALITY, of course it swamps me, and as I empty my boots into the gutter, I realize I am no longer swamped. But I like the idea of welcoming or at least acknowledging there is a different way.

I am working on this with grief as well.

And all of this reminds me of this magnificent poem by Rumi which I may have posted here long ago but for me, in this moment, it is worth posting again:

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

From The Essential Rumi, page 109. Translated by Coleman Barks.
© Copyright, 2004, HarperSanFrancisco.


B. said...


I am so glad I met you, and I love the way you think. Thank you for sharing Rumi's poem, and for being you. I hope the sense of being overwhelmed with big negative emotions fades for you soon.

Be well,

Sarah and Family said...

Thanks for that poem. Just what I needed this morning.

K said...

I love Rumi and I never quite saw the poem the same way until you just put it in this context. Beautifully expressed thoughts on fear. I've been doing that a bit lately. I get scared, I let it in, I marinate with it it and then I let it exit. I dont know if I could have done that in the first trimester but its helping me now- its like grief- if you fight it and run from it, its like a puppy that thinks your'e playing and will come for you harder. At some point you have to let it in, deal with it, and then find peace with it.

karen alonge said...

so beautiful. thank you. it's so nice to meet companions who are also traveling along the road to accepting what is.

tireegal68 said...

I love that poem. I will check out the pema chodron. Sending you peace.

Kristin said...

Thank you for your words here. And yesterday's. So honest and courageous and true. Sending withness. And love.

musicmakermomma said...

That is an amazing post - I never thought about feeling bad being something to accept, instead of just trying to banish it immediately. This came at such a good time for me - trying to quash all those painful feelings down and "get on with life" - but sometimes life feels bad. Thank you.