The other day I was walking along, hunched over, face no doubt tensed in contemplation, eyes glazing over the gray concrete sidewalk... When it suddenly occurred to me that I could look up...I realized I was close to a garden and tarried there a few moments...enjoying the soft breeze tickling the trees, the clash of colors mingling in the embracing darkness, the sweet, clean scent of growing things...
How many of us go through life with our heads down, shoulders hunched, seeing only the gray concrete of our past, our mistakes, our flaws, our secrets, our wounds, our failed businesses, or ended relationships? Our focus riveted to the small metaphorical space between our feet, the end of a downward gaze of shame.
How many of us have heard a friend share all their perceived flaws... but when you look at them all you see is beauty? There is something about seeing with eyes of love that we touch on a kind of wisdom... love understands the flawless nature of humans perceiving only actions as flawed. But so often we take on the identity of our flawed actions. Do you find this to be true for you? How do keep yourself from taking on your mistakes as if they made up "You"?
.."so you are in the small space of your fear. See if you can expand outward, into your whole body"...
I recently took a trip to New York City with another therapist. We not only took in shows and amazing museums, we also did a Gestalt workshop and a somatic experiencing session. In the session, a remarkably wise therapist, suggested expanding awareness into the whole body, versus maintaining awareness on the pinpoint of fear/pain/hurt. To my understanding, she was suggesting that, when we struggle or are afraid, we have a tendency to focus on that part and block out the rest of our experience.
We can become fixated on a small part, some small aspect of ourselves that we perceive as a massive mistake, failure, an aberration.
"I will never find love because each time I've found it, I managed to lose it."
"I can't show weakness in front others, if I do, I will be humiliated."
"I can't try...I am just no good at..."
Often when we've made some mistake, failed, misjudged, feel hurt by something in the past, or that our bodies are in some way wrong... it's as if we take a magnifying glass to that part of our experience. We can sometimes feel like that it is all there is to see about us, all there is for us to experience.
Yet when we back up, expand out and see ourselves from a distance, not just the belly that we think is too mushy but also our shapely smile, not just the hurt experienced as a child but the way we choose to share love as adults, not just the way a relationship ended but the way we've maintained a friendship, not just our inner worries but our inner joys...We are more than that "thing". You are more than that.
When you find yourself constricted into the small space of your suffering, your perceived failing (s), remember to be like a friend and see yourself in the fullness of who are. Broaden your perspective. Back up...Back out... so you can move forward.