There are so many collective agreements that we unconsciously fall into that limit the full possible expression of our livingness. One of which is the suppression of real Joy. I am not speaking about putting on the ‘happy face,’ which as you know, is the American way, but rather the glowing radiant-ness of a heart untamed and unleashed. The joy that a child feels with no veils layering over her face. Why is it that as we become adults, true joy and radiant aliveness feels like a threat to others? This also goes for sadness and grief. All the emotions that are felt in a pure and innocent way, and transmitted without hiding them seem to be difficult for most to swallow. Why is this?
Venturing a guess, I would say that pure emotions hold power. They transmit an internal condition that can be felt viscerally in the environment. Just like weather, they are hard to ignore. Strong emotions penetrate the defensive wall that we hold over our own hearts and minds keeping out unwanted repressed feelings, and penetrates the barrier that one has erected in order to protect oneself from feeling the pain (or joy), of others. Both pain and joy are two sides of a coin, both evoking visceral responses.
Whatever has been denied and repressed in oneself will be triggered by someone else’s naked honesty in allowing their authentic feelings to be revealed. Naked is scary stuff. And the interesting truth of it is that we also long for authenticity. An example of this is how much a walk in nature soothes and revitalizes the senses. Nature is consciousness in its most naked form. We are nature, but we have forgotten that we are just as free to reveal ourselves in such an open and raw way with no need to hide. Nature is what it is, animals and rocks, plants, the water, the sun, and the weather, all are simply what they are. We are as well. Centuries of beliefs have covered over our allowance of seeing and holding ourselves as natural beings. Revealing our inner reality is just as natural and wholesome a thing as the wind flitting through the trees is.
I am not speaking about unconscious spilling over into one’s environment, such as venting, blaming, or acting out behavior, without holding care for others. I am referring to the simple expression of the Self allowing itself to feel and to express feeling like the sun appearing in and out on a cloudy or sunny day. Here is the sun, now it is gone, here is some rain, and now some wind. How are you feeling? Taking responsibility for our feelings, owning them, and allowing them to reveal themselves in an unprotected way is a beautiful thing.
I can handle how you are feeling when I am allowing myself full rein to be in my own feeling allowance. When I give myself permission to be a conscious vessel of expression, I welcome others to do the same. So you are sad today? Can I meet you right where you are without wanting you to be anything other than you are? I am fine with you wanting to talk about it, and also fine with you wanting privacy. And now you are in joy, wow, maybe I am lifted up by your joyful expression, your love and appreciation for life, your passion emerging for music or for your work. Or maybe it triggers some sadness inside where I am not allowing myself to be in my joy. I am where I am, and the truth is, is that I am affected by how you are. We inter-penetrate each other all day long. I can go and take care of myself, taking time out when needed. I don’t need to be in your company witnessing your natural expression of being, except for when I feel to do so. We are empowered to take responsibility for ourselves, which gives full permission for expression to be free to flow.
Allowing ourselves to be inter-penetrated without defense (it happens anyway even with the defense), brings the full range of emotion and feeling out of the closet and into the light, helping to bring breath and space into the moment. Contracted breath, and held back feelings all help to perpetuate the feeling of separation. I am me, and you are you. Is this really true? What does the insistence of believing in this story bring us? Holding back and insisting on a line of delineation (which isn’t even true), between you and I, my feelings and yours, limits the possibility of living a life of full expression and openness.
When we learn to let go of what we have inherited and been taught to believe, that feelings are to be repressed and hidden from the world, and we allow ourselves to open up like a flower and naturally reveal our hidden treasures (because feelings are treasures from the soul), then we help give permission to others to do the same. It takes courage to be one’s natural self, and the world longs for authenticity. Even if it is a trigger for others, even if they turn away and experience shame and embarrassment for witnessing something naked, it is a gift that one is offering up when we shine like the sun, or cry like the rain.
And I understand firsthand the need for privacy, for sometimes being with oneself quietly and alone, grieving, curled up in a ball on the bed, and diving deep into feeling. I respect and honor this. There is a time and place for everything. What I am speaking to is the gradual (and at times not so gradual), unveiling of the naked heart where it allows all weather patterns to dance like mercury upon your beautiful and worn face. Face the sun and humanity just as you are, and by doing so, the gap of feeling separate from life, will close. And I have found that in actuality, many people are more open than we realize to witnessing pure feeling. Even with the collective turning away still running strong, there are so many of us who welcome and long for truth to show up and reveal its naked face.
~ Susanne Marie