(Tomorrow some editing – now I’m too tired to do so…)
Sometimes I go about pitying myself, and all the time I am being carried on great winds across the sky. — Chippewa, translated by Robert Bly
What is it about listening that is so amazingly difficult?
Listening to my heart – that place where many feelings reside – can be amazingly difficult, especially if it’s sound is not to my liking. Exploring what I feel today I notice that often time it feels like there is a restriction around my heart, something that tightens it up and makes my breathing a bit more shallow as if not to feel it.
But that doesn’t help.
It reminded me of the thorns around the heart that you see so often in Christian icons. You wouldn’t want that heart to expand into the thorns, would you?
But exactly that is needed. As sordid as I find a religion who’s main character is depicted as dying on a cross in its temples of worship (especially since the message is that “He is risen”and not “He has suffered and is dead”), the truth I find when giving in to the pain and difficulties – feeling whatever it is that comes up in this situation now – can lead into a greater flow of life; a feeling of being saved and held by some greater Grace that I cannot understand.
Actually when I’m not in this incredible flow that was so prominent yesterday, and still somewhat touches this day, especially during sharing what’s truly on my heart and mind… when I’m not in that expansive flow then very often there is this more or less subtle constriction in my heart area, or the more or less tight knot in the stomach and all the other phenomena that I’ve dived into these last two weeks.
Clearly, as I stated yesterday, I find that there is no unconditional this, that or the other. So what about the basic premise of this experiment that I want to be with my feelings unconditionally? Am I willing to admit that I failed? Have I failed?
I can’t say, certainly, because the experiment isn’t over yet – I promised myself to keep it up at least 3 weeks (creating new habits, it is said, takes 3 weeks to take a hold). But I found something that is a bit closer to what feels true: Unrestricted feeling (not in the expression but in the feeling of) is a necessary basis of all truly human connection.
To know about my connectedness with you I need to feel you in the field, and I also need to feel my e-motions, those motions inside of me – I need to be with the feeling-field as much as with the knowing-field, and probably even more so.
Wilhelm Reich, the ‘father of bioenergetics‘, and one of the deemed infamous students of Freud, coined the term “Charakterpanzer”, character-armor, which, according to him was bodyparts hardening and storing the traumas that we experience in life. I’m not a fan of bioenergetics, but I feel now much more what is meant by Charakterpanzer (pronounce kuructarpuntsur – “u” as in understand). And I actually feel it as pain, constriction, suffocation, separation, denial and all its many subtle and complex modifications.
What I want, no, what I absolutely need in relationship is an unrestricted feeling-flow. In relationship with myself, with my partner, with the people that are dear to me, and actually with everybody.
The Western imagery of pointing out the heart as the center of our feelings seems to be very fitting, although the body-feeling-field is much larger and would, in my experience take in everything in between my guts and up to my throat (my sexual organs being a ‘special case’ in that is is much more a sense-organ than an area of what I’ve called feeling in these communications about the experiment). In speaking about the feeling-center I don’t mean the heart-chakra; I’ve felt it shine and feel it sometimes still, but that’s of a different dimension or level, not as closely connected to the affairs of life as what I’m working with and working through these days. When the flow is there it seems that my heart is at the very center of this flow…
So today I’ve been with the restrictions or constrictions of the heart when they appeared. And I found what is my basic practise: I would call it “unrestricting myself” so that I can be with the feeings, my own and those of the people I’m with. Not stop or restrict them; not even by going with “O, I know what you mean” because really, I don’t – often. If I give myself time instead of restriction, if I give the other time… flow is a natural consequence.
So unrestricting myself again and again and again, or being with the feeling dimension of every and any occasion, has come up to be the most wonderful practise – something you might want to try…