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The Beauty and Gifts of Solitude

Updated: Oct 12, 2020

Last week was expansive, in that mind-blowing kind of way. I stepped out of cognitive understanding and into a relational experience with the nature of feelings, even the shadowy feelings that in the past I would drink away, repress or project onto another. This week was different. This week I welcomed in a loving relationship with hatred. And I am the better for it.

When dealing with the darker emotions my first action is always to go cathartic. So I ask the angels to protect whomever the persona is that has stirred up the dark feeling tone within me (very important as we can harm with thought forms just as we can with words and physical harm). This is a tool I put in my tool kit decades ago and I trust it to keep those psyche barbs from flying to a target while venting.

With that done, I used my voice, body movement, the written word and prayer to cut it loose. In my experience, the more I move the better. After the ‘dance’ of release felt complete, the feeling tone of hatred was much less intense, but lingered still. So I pulled out some other tools from my spiritual kit. I gave hatred to the Alter of Atonement, as suggested by A Course In Miracles (ACIM); and then I applied step 6 and 7, as suggested in 12 step recovery programs, but this hatred wasn’t leaving. It had a message. I could just feel it. So, with curiosity and a peaceful heart I sat down with hatred and asked, “What is it you would like me to know?” Over the course of several hours, and many tears later, I felt cleansed to the core through an initiation I was at once willing to go through, and prepared to take.

Much like the ghosts in The Christmas Story, hatred guided me to old stories from childhood. These stories were the narratives that have kept me bundled in belief structures that served only the ego. Once upon a time, they helped me to survive, but their shelf life had long ago expired!

Each vignette had its attendant belief – victim/not good enough/ unlovable/ etc., as well as its pattern of behavior. As I peered at these all too familiar stories I practiced this exercise from ACIM, “I would see you as my friend, that I may remember you are part of me and come to know myself.” With a tender heartedness that only heartbreak can evoke I took get care to

“ . . . know myself” through the action of another I had a grievance with. I owned my shit, yet again, at an even deeper level, at an even deeper forgiveness, for this time the forgiveness was for me. Tears and more tears!

And then hatred had me ask this question, which I believe I was made ready for by a conversation I had had with a Sober Friend. They had spoken about an Asset List. I had never been asked to write out an Asset List, so I asked my friend what that looked like. This conversation gave me a reference point when hatred asked me to ask the question of “What if . . .”

“What if that persona left because he wanted to protect you and your mom from further harm? What if that persona was desperately looking for his own innocence? What if that persona was so scared when he was a child that he didn’t know how to love you as a child?” “What if she was learning through her mistakes to be skillful? You get the idea.

Although it is fast and easy to write about the experience, it took hours and broke open another layer of armor around my heart. Afterwards, I felt the quiet calm of inner work done well. I sat in gratitude for the gentle guidance, and deep appreciation that I had time and the willingness to let myself walk with hatred, as was the will of ‘That Something,’ which is so much bigger than my bullshit!

Solitude. Welcoming of the inner world with a deep regard for our movements through the human experience.

Isolation. A deadening of both.

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