Part 3: And…Don’t Take On Others Suffering
In this unexpected third part of the series about turning towards life, I realized how important it was to communicate this point of not taking on others’ suffering.
Yesterday, as I was watching some of the news about the Uvalde school shooting, and listening to some graphic and horrific details about the shooting victims, in an attempt to stay open, turn towards it and let the energy of it move through me, I took it in.
When I went to bed last night, I wondered why I could feel as if the family members were inside my torso screaming, crying. There was this spacious and dark energy there of suffering. I could feel it.
Parts of me were starting to feel anxious because of the difficult things I had heard or seen earlier that day, in regards to the shooting.
I tried to just let it move through me, but I kept waking up throughout the night with similar feelings: that dark energy of suffering in my torso and the anxiety about thoughts of disturbing things I’d heard the day before.
This morning, when I woke up, I got the guidance from within to give it to God. I realized at this point that I had, instead of just being present while I watched the news and let things move through me, taken in what I was hearing and seeing on the news. So, instead of moving through me, this information and energy stayed with me and I could feel it throughout the night.
When I realized I had taken this in and then heard the inner guidance to “give it go God,” I did. In my minds eye, I watched the energy of what I’d taken in of the families and communities suffering, of all of our suffering, and let it go to God. The energy did. After that, I felt an immediate change in how I felt and that dark feeling of communal suffering was gone from my torso.
Then, I realized I’d done the same thing with the disturbing details of the victims. I’d taken it in instead of remaining present and letting it move through me (not attaching to it) earlier the day before. I did the same thing. I gave that energy to God and I felt a release from it.
There is a Buddhist meditation called Tonglen, in which you breathe in the suffering of others, yourself or Life and then breathe out goodness to that same situation. I have found it hard at times to breathe in the suffering. Either, I was in too sensitive and suffering of a place myself or I didn’t know how to allow the suffering I was breathing in to be transformed into goodness that I was breathing out.
Breathing in things that seem or appear “bad” to me does not always feel good to all of my parts (to learn more about parts work, see IFS info here). So, I need to be discerning at times so that I don’t allow the suffering to stay within me, but allow it to transform and move through me back out into the Universe. How can I do this? By consciously connecting with my Whole Self or True Self, the me that is always who I am and is God’s pure Love. Once I am grounded in my True Self, it can support my doing practices like Tonglen, holding space for others or my own suffering, etc.
Today, I read a passage from Francois Raoult’s book LIFEaSANA on page 159 he says “…a certain dose of detachment is needed” when dealing with the world. This detachment can create space between my human experience of Life and my Whole Self, the Truth of Who I Am. When there is space between myself and what I’m experiencing, I can often see things more clearly and hold whatever I’m experiencing with more compassion because I know that the human reality is not really Who I Am, it’s a part of human life, not the Whole of Life Itself. This is what creates some needed space so I don’t become the suffering, but I can witness it, feel it, allow it to move through me and learn from it.
That’s what I’m speaking to here. When I am connected to my deeper, wiser Self, it creates more space so that I can be centered and see clearly whatever I am dealing with, receiving or experiencing.
I hope this is helpful. If you have any questions about any of these three blogs, please comment and I’ll respond.
Thank you and take care.
Sincerely and with Aloha Nui Loa,