Another fucking tragedy experienced in and by our world. A tragedy I cannot fathom really, or understand even a tiny bit what those people affected by this are feeling. Nor for the victims of the ongoing war and killing in the middle east.
More reasons not to look at the news. Another reason to turn away….or is it?
As someone who has denied her sensitivity for a lot of years, I too was afraid to look at all of the horror that seems to exist in our world. It felt too much. Too big. Too overwhelming.
I believed I needed to protect myself so that the pain wouldn’t affect me, wouldn’t drag my energy out. That the emotional shrapnel wouldn’t hit me too.
The ego part of me, the part that is afraid and wants me to believe that I am seperate, different and at risk tells me to stay inside. Lock the fucking doors, pull the curtains and hide girl! Hide! Don’t let anyone see me or me to see anyone else.
With all the storm stuff in our little fam lately I have heard a lot of ego chatter. And then with all the stuff ‘out there’ in the wider world…well….
LOCK. THE. FUCKING. DOORS! Screamed my
Pema Chodron the beautiful Buddhist monk, in her book “Start Where You Are”, says this about Ego;
Ego is like a room of your own, a room with a view, with the temperature and the smells and the music that you like. You want it your own way. You’d just like to have a little peace; you’d like to have a little happiness, you know, just “gimme a break!”
But the more you think that way, the more you try to get life to come out so that it will always suit you, the more fear of other people and what’s outside your room grows. Rather than becoming more relaxed, you start pulling down the shades an locking the door. When you do go out, you find the experience more and more unsettling and disagreeable. You become touchier, more fearful, more irritable than ever. The more you just try to get it your way, the less you feel at home”
Can anyone relate to that? The need to hide away? The need to control the space you are in? The need to turn away from both the sadness of others AND the happiness of others?
Ego wants me to turn off social media, it wants me to turn off the news, it wants me to be afraid and hide. To scoop up everything and everyone I love and bunker down and hide.
And yes, there are times that I really feel like it is just too much for me to bare (usually when I have been out of alignment with myself and not telling the absolute truth), and I completely honour that about myself….but for the most part…it is ego and fear that wants me to pull back.
Ego wants me to remind myself that I have big enough problems and that I don’t have time to deal with the worlds issues, or anyone else’s suffering. To become self centred and wallow in my misery and ‘poor me-ness’.
Ego part of me cries, “Enough already. Jeezus”!! It clings to trying to convince me that things should be working out the way I want them. It should be different to what it is. It whispers, “I am a good person, so why is all this shit happening to me? And why is it happening to other people as well…WHO CAN WE BLAME”?
The ego/scared part of me want ME to be victorious. To hell with the rest. And, if anything threatens to get in the way of ME victory, well, you will be blamed and shamed!
Checking out a bit of human history, I can see that there has been time after time after time of ME wanting to be victorious. Can you?
The Croats and the Serbs murdering each other, raping each other, killing children and the rest. Hitler and his ME victorious hunting over the Jews. The Arabs and the Jews. Protestants and the Catholics. The One Nation party and well, everyone. Trump and well..the same as The One Nation party.
Me. Me. Me.
But as humans don’t we look at all the stuff and say, “Oh yeah, isn’t it terrible what is happening ‘over there’. Pointing out there. Over there. They should just do this…and do that…and stop this and start that….”. “It is their fault the world is in chaos”. “It’s them to blame for our pain”.
Are we really that different to those folks ‘over there’?
First, let me say, I nor you who is reading this could surely really be able to feel into the evil that exists in some humans. This evil that says, “Lets build a bomb filled with nails and glass and explode it at a concert where folks are going to celebrate and enjoy life”. Nup. I cannot even touch that level of hate and blame for unhappiness. And I know, neither can you. So lets set that aside before ego’s get triggered.
What I am trying to say is that if I was to ask you and you were to ask anyone else; “What is it you want out of life or what is it you want for your children’s life”? you and most folks will answer, “Just to be happy”.
Sounds like this simple thing right? To be happy. To be at peace.
If we ask the Serbs, “What is it you want”? I wonder if they would say, “We just want our people to be happy and live in peace”.
Okay. Doesn’t seem like a big ask. We all want that right? Seemingly, theirs and most folks solution is to try to eradicate what they believe is the source of their misery. In the Serbs case it is the Croats.
But what about me? And what about you? What is the source of your discomfort? Your unhappiness? Is it anything to do with you or is it because of someone else?
The point I am clearly slowly trying to make here is that if you and I continue to think that there is any difference between the Serbs and the Croats, the situation in the Middle East or Somalia or in Trump-ville, we’re mistaken.
If we think that there is a difference between those situations and the way that white people feel about black people or heterosexuals and homosexuals or any other situations on earth, well, we got it a little off kilter ya’ll.
This is not a new concept and I certainly didn’t come up with it, but what I have come to really embody is :
We gotta start with ourselves.
I wonder what the planet would look like if it was completely blame free. Can you go there for a minute? A second? What does it look like to you?
Perhaps we would see the agitated and aggressive energy that seems to be causing a widespread holocaust subside? And peace and harmony would reign. Maybe?
A few years ago I experienced a really devastating betrayal. Painful. So painful, that it was the first time in my short life on this planet, with all the other pain I had experienced…that I actually considered it being better option for me to actually not be here.
It was brutal. I felt isolated. I felt angry. I felt like I wanted to get revenge, like deep deep evil thoughts of revenge. Ridiculous levels of blame.
Really, it was messy in my head for a while.
I was miserable. Levels of misery that I had never experienced. And while I ‘knew’ that I had to start with me (this is what my work with others is all about), it didn’t stop me from wanting to hurt others.
I wanted them to feel my level of pain. I didn’t want to experience this pain and temporarily believed that if I sought revenge, that that would make me feel better, that I would shift the pain like a hot potato from me, to them.
“You take it. You deserve it…not me. You caused this”! Blamo at it’s best!
If I was to act on my pain, to act out in anger, then my life would be very different now.
I’d be getting 3 meals delivered to my cell. Which as a mum, you probably wouldn’t think that would be too bad. I mean, in prison there is a gym, lots of time to read, food provided and you don’t have to think about what to wear everyday right??
*returns from her dream like fantasy* I digress.
Over time, I started to notice what it felt like in my body to blame someone else for the way I was feeling.
I started to notice what it felt like in my shoulders. My stomach. My heart. It fucking sucked arse burgers! BIG TIME. I hated it. Loathed it.
Recently, like very recently…I decided to be brave and to stop trying to escape the discomfort by blaming and pointing and being venomous. To stop guarding myself and pushing discomfort away. I had to get in touch with the very soft spot under all of my armour…and blame was the strongest part of that armour.
It felt often really heavy in my stomach and chest. Like I couldn’t take a full deep breath. Tight in my neck and shoulders and my jaw felt clenched.
It was intense.
“Just let it go” they say. “Just drop it and move on”.
Oh, okay. Is there a pill I can take for that?
What did it really mean to let go for me and how on earth could I possibly do it?
It sounded like just what I needed but I just couldn’t seem to do it. No matter what therapy, what coaching, what book….my Ego was far, far too strong to allow me to be free. So I fought. I held tight.
I got exhausted. I got some serious physical manifestations. I got physical pain that matched my emotional pain. It was bad arse!
In the space I had created with my physical symptoms, I began to notice really deeply that when I blame others and put all that energy into the object of anger it is usually because I am really afraid that these uncomfortable feelings are going to last forever.
I mistakenly believed that the way to end my pain was to blame it on someone else. Anyone else. To pass it over. Hot potato style. Here you take it. It doesn’t belong with me. I don’t deserve this. It isn’t mine…you caused all of this. You take it!
The irony and the apparent truth is that this is what actually made it last.
Letting go for me has become a practice. A little bit by little bit deal.
And it started with asking myself these few questions that came to me in stillness one day. All the other ways didn’t speak to me. But this way did.
- Jen, this feeling in your body if you were to continue to experience it for the next 5 years, what would that feel like?
- What if these feelings were a part of nature, that you could hold in your hands physically and lovingly and gently place down to let it go on it’s way; would you do it?
- What would doing that feel like in your body?
- Do they have any control over the way you feel right now?
- Do other humans experience the feelings you are feeling?
- Can you use this human experience to help other humans?
Doing this, the poison lessened.
I bravely chose and still continue to choose to acknowledge and own the feeling of blame, acknowledge and own the feeling of anger, acknowledge and own the feeling of loneliness AND most importantly, I can make friends with it before gently and lovingly placing down allowing to return to nature.
So how about you? How are you doing with all your human anger, human blame, human pain? How do you deal with the pain ‘out there’ and how do you deal with the pain ‘in here’?
Share with us so that we might be able to lessen more of the pain.
If you have tried other things, or have tried no other things to try to find peace, I challenge you to experiment with these questions of self inquiry.
It works on other feelings other than blame and betrayal..I’ve experimented myself.
You’re initial thought reading this might be “fuck off, you have no idea of what pain has been inflicted on me”…
And no, I don’t. I cannot. Not even close for some of you.
AND yet, I want what you want.
It might feel shit at first. Like really shit. The ego will want to keep you locked in your house with the doors closed and curtains drawn. And if your ego is as strong as mine, you are in for a ride.
What everyone wants. I want what the Serbs want. I want what the American’s who voted in Trump want, I want what the Catholics want….
I I want to be happy and in peace and I want that for you too.
I want that for all of us, because I want to live in a world where all of us are! I want that for my kids too.
I’m not asking you to fling the door open and step out or to invite the world in. I am just asking you to stand at the door, considering the possibility that you might be able to open it, once you gently free you hands up from holding these uncomfortable feelings by asking these questions.
My work in the world is to help guide folks back to their true selves as I walk the path of my true nature. To help us all wake up to their amazingness. To find peace and happiness. And for me to help those folks, I have to walk the path myself.
If you or someone you love might benefit from the self compassionate practice of letting go, maybe pass this on to them or take a moment this week to ask the questions. Or challenge yourself to book a healing session with me via Zoom or in person. Just put your deets in the box below.
I’d love to hear about your human experience with blame and pain….because you are not alone.
We are in this together my fellow traveller.
An adventure in making friends with ourselves, so we might know peace.
Big, big love