“Knowing what something is, is not the same as feeling it.” The Giver
What would make you willing to feel all the pain and suffering inside of you? What would make you insatiably hungry to feel all of your life? You close off. It is natural to protect yourself from pain. It is painful to feel small, horrendous to be judged. No one should have to feel the heat of anger and be the focus of hatred. You know that the phrase ‘makes my blood boil’ isn’t just a phrase. It is how it really feels to be you. You feel the flush of heat rolling through your body each time it happens. The heartbreak of being rejected, of not being seen, is real to you. It’s been so long since you’ve been seen, maybe forever, that even the idea of a ‘you’ feels like fraud. The once bright light inside of you is dimming. You wonder if the screaming voice is right. Perhaps you really are worthless.
You’re a kid. You don’t know that it is not about you, that it is really about the bully standing in front of you, about his or her insecurities, his inability to love, his whimpering cry for love. You feel the harsh, agonizing energy and shrink within yourself. Something within wants to lash out, to hit back, but you shrink. That makes it worse but somehow, someway, you have to survive. Instinctually, you become a smaller target. You find a hole and dig in. The hole is within yourself and it gets smaller, tighter every time you crawl inside. It is your hiding place and you can’t let anyone in. There is no room, so you live alone, alone among family, alone in a world of 7 billion people.
It doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t need to make sense. It’s not about being smart; it’s about survival.
So here you are. You’ve shut yourself down. You are good at hiding out, retreating within. It is instinctual now. You feel threatened; you retreat. You long for love, to be loved exactly as you are, and yet you react, like a shell-shocked war vet. Then you wonder, how could such a person ever expect to be loved? The bully no longer lives outside of you. He has infiltrated deep inside. You know it. You see it. You try to push it away, but no matter how hard you try, it doesn’t work. The sick feeling in the pit of your stomach says there is no escape.
How much of who you really are, your inner beauty, are you willing to erase? You know there is a sacred heart beating within your chest. It aches. It longs. It desires wings. You know how it hurts you when you hurt another. It breaks you into pieces, the guilt unbearable. Does a life in the shadows, always protecting yourself, satisfy anything? Isn’t it time to step out into the light and arrive? Aren’t you tired of waiting for a better tomorrow that never comes? Are you willing to live amongst missed moments of intimacy and lose your chance for true, lasting connection?
Your heart is screaming for help. I can hear it.
Your pain is enough. This right now, is enough. It is reason enough to inquire deeply into every belief you hold about yourself and find out what actually is true. It is enough to come of out the hole and board up the trampled entrance.
What is the hole anyway? It’s where you go to not feel, to numb yourself, to shut out life, all the while wanting to feel more alive. It’s the barren distance you put between yourself and your loved ones while wanting nothing more than to be held close. It is all your beliefs about who you are. It is all the lies the bullies threw at you, yourself included. As long as you crawl back in, it is your identity.
It is time now.
Doing the inner work will be less painful than maintaining the lie. The pain of remaining rigidly packed inside your hole of conditioned response is excruciatingly unbearable, and so much smaller than who you are.
You built the hole in an attempt to not feel. Deliverance, the way out, is found by meeting what you have avoided all these years. Yes, your heart will break again. You will feel that flush of heat as it seers through every cell. That is part of being vulnerable, part of being fully human. The more pain you are open to feeling, the more joy you will be capable of experiencing. Instead of closing you down, your heart will crack open, leaving you more capable of loving. All that you have held inside you will begin to dissolve as you feel it. That is all it ever wanted from you. Feel it and it will move on. As the light creeps through the cracks, you will find impossible beauty in the rawness, the realness, the authentic aliveness. The more you open, the more you will want to open until opening further, further, further is choiceless, chosen.
The feeling of being a fraud will drop away as your heart begins to beat in unison with life, for you will no longer be a fraud. You knew all along that knowing something wasn’t the same as feeling it. That’s a big part of what felt wrong. The feeling of wrongness was a miracle, God’s message. Reading the menu isn’t the same as tasting the delicate spices, the creamy sauces, the nuanced flavors. Reading about sex isn’t the same as intimately caressing your lover, kissing every mole and freckle, wanting to know everything about them, giving yourself completely to the lovemaking. Knowing about love isn’t the same as feeling God within, unmistakably realizing God as who you are. Knowing is mind-stuff, imagination – the menu. Feeling is Here, Now – Real.
Feeling is the gateway. It is how God made us. Feeling unleashes the full force of His power on earth. Feeling is the pathway of love, the crucible and the salvation of man. It is why your life has been so painful. You have held God at a distance. Feel. Let God come close, so close there is no difference between you and Him. Feel. Trust the blessed unfolding. Feel. Know your difficult path has brought you to this deliverance. Feel. It is all in Divine timing. Feel. You, the whole you, is needed here now. Feel. Feel the love you are.
(I am feeling such gratitude for all the people I have been blessed to meet in this life. This is for all of us, the bully and the bullied. As we are willing to feel everything, no possibility of being bullied remains. Don’t know about you … but I was my own worst bully.)