Picture this: It was 2012. Sarah and I had one baby and another on the way.
I was eating no more than a cup of dried, toasted oats per day because I couldn’t seem to eat anything else or any more than that.
I drank almost no water because drinking water made me feel worse. And I still had to get up to pee eight times each night.
I was exhausted. I wanted to do some chi gung standing meditation, but I didn’t have the strength to stand for more than a few minutes.
I didn’t have the strength to work for income. We were tearing through our savings and had almost nothing left.
I felt so weak, so depleted, so sick that each time I fell asleep, I felt as though I might not wake up. That I might leave my children fatherless.
I was desperate.
I began a messy, desperate process of healing.
I did it because my back was against the wall and there was something in me that was alive – that screamed with all its aliveness – “LIVE! LOVE!”
“LIVE! LOVE!” is the commandment. The commandment of our hearts and souls.
To live/love is a messy business.
I’m convinced that there’s no truly graceful way to do it. Not that grace does not happen. It does. That I am here is evidence of that grace.
But I do not have the ability to manufacture or produce grace. Grace acts of its own accord.
Perhaps I can make a suitable environment for grace by being inviting and welcoming and grateful. But I don’t do grace.
And if I try to do grace, I’m faking it. I’m lying. I’m hiding.
Because the real me, the truth of my life/love is messy.
I started by tapping. EFT. I tapped and tapped and tapped. Hours every day. No joke.
I made lists of everything I could think of from this lifetime and past lifetimes and my parents and their parents and on and on.
And I tapped on it all.
I’m not suggesting that you should start tapping. (Really, I’m not.)
But I did. And what it did for me was offered me a way to open up to feeling.
All the uncomfortable, scary, hidden, dark, unpleasant, unwanted, traumatic stuff in my body.
Eventually, I stopped tapping because I was feeling. And feeling was primary. Tapping had been the vehicle – the ritual.
Internal arts are primary. Feeling is primary.
But eternal arts are sometimes useful. Ritual is useful.
That’s one thing: internal art/feeling is primary. But ritual is useful.
Next. I had an intention. “LIVE! LOVE!”
That is not passive. That is active.
The way to manifest that intention had passive elements to it. But the intention itself was not passive.
Feel the aliveness in you. Feel the commandment in your heart. It is active. It has power.
The work I needed to do was to soften and release the unnecessary efforts and resistance that I was in the habit of producing.
So I needed to be more yielding to the aliveness.
But that does not mean that I was becoming deadened. To the contrary: I was commanded to “LIVE! LOVE!”
That is not to merely sit on the sidelines of life, watching with dispassion.
That is to be engaged in the messiness of being human.
“Feeling is healing”. This is a cliché for a reason. Because it’s true.
And healing is not for the dead. Healing is for the living.
Feeling/healing is for the living who are commanded to LIVE! LOVE!, which is active, which is to be moved and to be engaged in the messiness of being human.
My life is messier than ever. It is not neat and orderly and controlled.
To live/love is to be the fool.
The fool is sacred because the fool is the willingness to venture forth into the unknown, into danger – to risk everything in the name of the commandment to live/love.
This is the second thing: be the fool. Risk feeling. Risk the journey. Risk being fully human.
To be human is the vehicle for divine revelation.
If you catch a glimpse of the divine revelation – which you may right now if you are quiet enough for just a half second – that is possible because you are human.
Many traditions recognize the value of being human – that if we were not in form, we could not have a taste of the divine revelation.
But in the arrogance of this culture, many of us have forgotten to be grateful for the gift of being alive in human form.
Let us give thanks for the gift of life and the gift of being alive in the bodies that we inhabit.
And let us give thanks by more fully inhabiting these bodies. By feeling more fully and more consciously and with gratitude that we feel at all.
That is the third thing: let us give thanks by welcoming and giving thanks to the feelings in our bodies.
We are not alone. And neither are we separate.
We are here together. And we are commanded “LIVE! LOVE!”
If any among us are suffering, none of us can experience the fullness of the pleasure of being.
Therefore, your “bad” feelings are not a burden to the rest of us so long as they are given as offerings. Because in offering them, you are restoring them to the flow of life rather than secreting them away in your darkness.
Offer them to the light – the seen.
Don’t hide. We need you.
That is the fourth thing: There is one body. Coherence, resonance, and flow are necessary for the health of the one body. And that requires that we offer up our experience to the whole so that it may flow.
May you LIVE! LOVE!