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.