What does it mean to Be With our experience?
This is a key understanding for our journey.
Words like surrender, allowing, letting go may come to mind.
But let's see if we can get a little closer to the precise meaning of Being With.
First of all, we are bringing in the qualities of compassion and curiosity. Whatever arises, whatever is here, whatever seems stuck -- we really want to know what that is because we are genuinely interested and curious about it. It's the same feeling of spending time with someone you deeply love, especially a child you love or an animal you love. We want to know what's happening for them, with an openness, a lack of judgment and a wish to truly support.
Next, we bring in the understanding of change. Life is change. When something is here that we don't like, we worry it will be here permanently. But that is not the deepest truth about life. Change is the nature of having a human life. So this too -- whatever it is and no matter how difficult it feels -- will shift.
We need to also bring in the understanding of witnessing presence. This is the part of who we really are inside that observes, watches and witnesses in a detached way but with a kind of warm-heartedness for the human journey. Everyone wants to be happy and not suffer, including us. This part of us that can see what is going on, no matter the content, isn't involved in the suffering but it is still a part of our experience. That watcher is our witnessing presence. Eckhart Tolle tells us that if we notice we aren't feeling present, we become present. So this witnesser has an essential role in our healing process. And it is always here, whether we are aware of it or not, waiting for our return.
One of my teachers likes to describe witnessing presence as having sovereignty over our human life, like a wholesome philosopher king or a benevolent queen who truly cares for her people. This regalness or majesty is inseparable from our presence. It can stand like a lighthouse in the face of any storm. Our relationship to this steadfast part of us grows every time we remember the witness. It is a lifetime companion.
This inner lighthouse sees what is happening, within us and around us. That doesn't necessarily mean we approve or agree with what we see. The content of experiences in our lives can truly challenge us. We can feel how unacceptable certain moments are and have intense reactions to them. Accompanying these reactions can be our witnessing presence. With witnessing presence, we can feel our consent, our agreement, to be here with the gift of life, to participate in its flow, connected to the deeper nature of presence. In other words, there is no conflict between these two places in us. We can be upset about this particular challenge and feel fully committed to our relationship with life.
So, we can see the necessity of all of these ingredients:
~ compassion and curiosity
~ the nature of change
~ our witnessing presence.
They work together like a super-hero team, helping us Be With whatever is happening right now in our human life, reminding us that this moment contains valuable information albeit temporary. They show us that this moment will take us to the next moment. Life is designed to move us from moment to moment, inviting us to return home to who we really are each step of the way.
I have created many different Being With healing rooms that follow this one. Please visit the ones that appeal to you. Each one is designed to help us move through specifically challenging situations in life. May the tools in each room help you be with yourself with more ease and flow.