When we are afraid, it causes reactions in us. Yesterday, I watched a man, awoken by a friend’s loud knocking at his door, answer the door yelling. When an experience elicits fear in me, I too know that impulse, the impulse to yell.
For me, being in each moment is a practice. I practice knowing that I am one part of a living, changing organism that is all of us and everything, omnipresent and, thereby, omniscient. I practice loving myself in each instance.
When I know fear, I practice by moving into it. I know these moments as opportunities for me to move out of an emotional discomfort that I have carried from the story of a memory surrounding a moment that came before.
I center myself, focusing on my breath. I gently bring my attention to it as it naturally moves in and out. I feel myself begin to unwind. I gently bring my attention to my feeling of fear. I invite myself to remember… When have I felt this feeling before? Where was I? What did I smell? What did I hear? Was anyone else there? I relax into that moment, feeling it, whatever it was, whatever it still is.
I invite in my current knowledge. I know now that all of us, at every moment, are always doing the best we can. I know that when I am able to do better, to show up more, to be more present, to more fully express my authentic self in a way that feels kind and loving, I do. I know that when I feel loved, I feel supported and I am more comfortable being vulnerable and exposing the me I feel best as.
I invite love into my memory. I love myself. I expand my love and remember that I am a part of an organism that is infinite and ever changing. I love all of it and know that each lesson that is part of the infinite holds some idea that is invaluable to learn. I love any other person in that memory with me. I love them as I would love a child who had not yet learned that fire is hot. I forgive them for not knowing that words or actions can burn trauma into an emotional body. I forgive them for not knowing that scars can be more than skin deep. I forgive them for not knowing that healing must continue until my emotions are unwound and my scars are gone. I forgive them for not knowing then that healing roads are hard until they suddenly are easy. I forgive myself for not knowing how to respond then in a way that expressed my true and authentic, infinitely strong and graceful self.
I am grateful to have learned from that moment something about what I don’t want in my life, and I am grateful for all of the seeds that moment planted for me to understand everything I do want. I am grateful for all of the love and beauty in my life and I am grateful for all of the ways in which I continue to learn about how to love myself more. I am grateful that this increase of love supports me now in coming from a place of love and in investigating my fears, when I experience them, from a perspective of gentle kindness. I am grateful for all of the moments in which I am so successful in being present that I do not feel the impulse to yell, moments in which, instead of fear and reaction, I experience compassion and calm.
I am grateful that, as the success of my self-practice grows, so too does my success in supporting my clients and students in moving through their own changes and discomforts. I am truly grateful for the ever expanding ease and grace in my life, and so I smile.