Are you more afraid of being judged than you are willing to die?
Can you just be willing to die? So much easier that way,
for you, and for everyone involved, which is everyone.
And by die I mean: be open. Attend to. Be with. Listen.
What are the consequences of refusing to let die that which you are afraid might get judged? Of refusing to have it seen, which is, in a sense, refusing to see it yourself, to see yourself?
Consider first that it may not be judgement you are afraid of, but the truth, and what the truth will mean for you, or for the “you” you’ve come to believe yourself to be.
The truth will be the end of that you, yes. That you knows it will die if it is seen and so it lights fires in your mind,
smoke signals of fear that warn of some impending attack, although there is no marching army, no army at all.
Death is not annihilation.
But you see the smoke and shut the gates.
The truth is at the gates. It will wait.
The truth does not force, that is not its way.
What are you avoiding? Whatever you avoid will rule you and become you,
keep you exactly where you are, as you are.
To avoid is to calcify.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. There is nothing wrong with you, ever.
This isn’t about being wrong or right.
This is about peace.
Can you see how the thought, “There’s something wrong with me?” is the very thought that terminates—or delays, because what is ever terminated, what ever really dies?—the unwinding of your bound and knotted heart?
Taking it personally is the most ingenious way of perpetuating the suffering you long to be free of.
Ingenious, because the voice that is causing the suffering—that is, indeed, asking to die, begging to be seen, understood so it can dissolve back into love—co-opts your mind without your even realizing it, whispers its way back into belief.
The voice reinforces its control over you when you take things personally.
Not that you are doing any of this. This all just happens—movements of the mind doing their thing, like the wind does its thing and the squirrels do their thing. You are not some dastardly villain to yourself or to anyone else, some evil genius intent on imprisoning yourself or ruining the world.
You, the you you, is that within which and upon which and through which these movements of mind move,
unknowable, un-pin-downable, ever-present, all-inclusive,
which does not relieve you of the labor of feeling whatever it is that arises in this journey of liberation.
“I am not my thoughts and self-loathing is a delusion, so I don’t have to feel this stuff.”
It’s true, you are not your thoughts and self-loathing is a delusion, but the best way—and perhaps the only way—to be free and healed is to feel.
To be open to fully, uneditedly, indiscriminately, transparently, unashamedly experiencing whatever it is you are already experiencing, that you are pretending isn’t there, or know is there but keep at a comfortable remove by philosophizing about it.
No. Feel it.
Know the judge and the jailer—know they are there, know what they’re doing, know how they came to be—and welcome them into your prison cell with you.
Let the fever run its course. Just be sick. Open the gates. Ask the questions that will bring the medicine, questions to yourself, questions to me, to the ones surrounding you. We are waiting, always waiting, like truth, like healing.
Let the fever burn. It’s gotta get way hotter if it’s gonna break, and it’s gotta break if you wanna be free.
Make a break for it. Break, for freedom.
You are afraid, not of judgement, perhaps, but that the heat will kill you if you face it, stand in it, open to it.
But if it is the heat of truth, even if that truth is sickness, it cannot kill you. It can, and will, only kill that which is not you, burning away the sickness, not vindictively, not with a vengeance, no slash and burn campaign of just more judgement and shame,
but with love. That is truth’s way. Love.
I ask you to be open, that’s all.
I ask you to listen.
Listen to what is happening inside you. Can you include all of it? Are you willing to look, to feel, to receive and know yourself? Note that I didn’t say “love yourself.” Don’t concern yourself with loving yourself, that is too tall an order. Trust that love will happen simply by your willingness to know yourself, which means being honest with yourself, taking responsibility for yourself. This is no one’s fault—not mine, not God’s, and certainly not yours.
I will be here, when you are ready to share, and in all the time before, too,
waiting, not expectantly, just here, believing in you, knowing that you know, that you must come to it on your own, that true death and birth must not be forced, cannot be forced,
that your path is yours to walk, not mine, and that mine is mine and no one else’s,
trusting in the body, and that the mind follows the body, if not right away, eventually,
after many years of straying and betraying,
and every betrayal: a chance to forgive, after the anger and the grieving, which is to say: a chance to live, really live,
and every straying: a chance to come back home again.
I will be here, am here,
remembering that mind and body take care of themselves somehow,
and that liberation takes its time, its own time,
and that none of us is in control of our own liberation, thank God,
the way an apple is not in control of when it drops from the tree on its way back to the Earth from which it came.
Perhaps you have already dropped.
Perhaps you are falling.