Acknowledge the Darkness, Then Let It Go.
Again, I am writing after meditation, again writing about what comes up during this sacred time. Meditation has become a significant part of my work, my journey of healing my soul and heart. Before I go further into what came up during this morning’s meditation, I want Pema Chodron’s words to set the tone:
“The safest and most nurturing place to begin working this way is during formal meditation. On the cushion, we begin to get the hang of not indulging or repressing and what it feels like to let the energy just be there. That is why it’s so good to meditate every single day and continue to make friends with our hopes and fears again and again. This sows the seeds that enable us to be more awake in the midst of everyday chaos. It’s a gradual awakening, and it’s cumulative, but that’s what actually happens. We don’t sit in meditation to become good meditators. We sit in meditation so that we’ll be more awake in our lives.”
Everyday chaos – when chaos entered in the past, especially anything that had anything to do with re-emerging memories of my past involving physical, verbal, emotional and sexual abuse which was part of my being a child and youth; I typically responded with a sharp descent into darkness, depression and irrational behaviours. Meditation has allowed me to find some balance allowing me to become more and more present in everyday life. It doesn’t get rid of the past. But, it has allowed me to co-exist better with the facts of that past.
Yesterday evening, I received a message that gave me more information, more mental images of my own life in childhood chaos. I found out more about my mother and her father and how all of that would in turn swirl around me as first grandchild and first child. I was initially shocked, shaken and tears again fell – tears of relief actually as finally there was another voice confirming what I had remembered, confirming that they were not false memories. And, it gave me some needed understanding, especially with regard to my mother.
This morning in meditation, without intention on my conscious part, new images of mother and child began to emerge. Rather than flee in disgust and crumble into a depression of self-hate, I continued to look at the images as I have been learning through meditation. I was learning how to stay safely in my boat as I rode through the hell that sought to pull me into its embrace like the image above taken from the movie, “What Dreams May Come.”
“How we stay in the middle between indulging and repressing is by acknowledging whatever arises without judgment, letting the thoughts simply dissolve, and then going back to the openness of this very moment. That’s what we are actually doing in meditation. Up come these thoughts, but rather than squelch them or obsess with them, we acknowledge them and let them go.”
As I got up from the cushion this morning, I returned to a real morning, in a real house, in a real relationship. The images and thoughts were let go and I am again at peace and breathing with ease.