The unbidden visitor
The unbidden visitor may come anytime, but late night after tasks are done and the house is quiet seems to be her favorite. Whether due to relaxation or exhaustion, habits of mental chatter and physical bracing that normally keep the unacceptable parts of ourselves at bay relax. We let down our guard. And so she arrives. Her costumes are infinite. Sometimes a mean spirit, she reminds us of how much we’ve failed, how we’re really just a fraud, how no amount of achievement will ever be enough. Sometimes a heaviness, her weight rounds our shoulders and collapses our spines with the troubles of our world. Sometimes a fear, we’re convinced we’re responsible for something — anything — bad happening. Sometimes an unforgiving ache or pain, she begs us for relief. We don’t like her and we aren’t interested in becoming friends, yet, this is exactly what she demands. If we ignore her or refuse her, she’ll hang around for months, years, decades even, and in her own way change the color of our hearts. We’ll end up living through her eyes instead of our own. Our refusal to accept her paradoxically leads us to proclaim in our most despairing moments “I’ve always been her.” It is an outrageous act of kindness and courage to turn toward this unbidden visitor; whether she’s our anger, fear, hurt, sadness, pain, despair. Rather than denying her presence, or urgently seeking to escape her by distracting, shaming, blaming, or raging at ourselves and others, we turn toward her. We open our hearts, get really curious, and refuse to abandon ourselves whenever we’re triggered or otherwise distressed. We feel her raw somatic power. We drop below the thinking storyline and the emotional landscape and sense her energy in our bodies. She speaks with felt sensations such as tight, hot, tense, piercing, bubbly, tingly, heavy, flowing, sharp, cold, achy. This is where experience is raw, naked, open, and free from interpretation. Before the arising of judgment, there is only sensation. Offering the gift of attunement to ourselves, we offer the visitor warmth, holding, and presence. We cut through the moments of fight, flight, freeze self-abandonment. We allow ourselves to be surprised, to not know. In this way, our visitor becomes a guide on the journey to our deeper self. Our minds may not understand this world and may search for ways to fix, heal, transform, and cure what we think is wrong. But our deeper self knows we are in the territory of presence where nothing is wrong and there is only experience. The invitation is to realize our somatic world of sensation is part of an infinitely creative, intelligent, mysterious field of aliveness. Slowly but surely we wake up to the wisdom field we are and know ourselves as pure awareness where she is but one shimmering expression. The unbidden visitors never stop coming. They never stop asking for our attention. This is the way of being human. And we come to know these visitors as a manifestation of and bridge into to our mysterious sacred aliveness.