“I am not completely safe with that person!”
I was working with all the people enrolled in Relationship Hell to Heaven, and 8 week teleclass I teach, where we identify and question beliefs about those other people….
….especially the people we’ve been super close with.
Our topic for the class session was SHAME.
The exercise all the participants had for homework, to complete before the call, was to consider what you feel most embarrassed about, ashamed of, something you’d prefer to keep secret, when it comes to an important relationship in your life.
It didn’t have to be crazy intense disgusting, or mortifying.
It could be a small embarrassment, a wish that you had handled something differently or that you could take back the way it went down.
Rats. You want me to remember those situations?
Do I have to?
I immediately had three images of people come to mind, as the voices of these beautiful inquirers on the phone all spoke with honesty, and nervousness, in their voices.
Dang, that mind is so quick to remind me of what I consider “bad” behavior on my part, jeez!
There was one that was the worst.
I noticed the face of the person floating through my mind as these courageous inquirers answered the questions and shared their own truth, as they looked at this difficult situation they went through where they didn’t like the way they conducted themselves.
You could cut the harshness with a knife, it was so thick.
Self-criticism is intense, self-loathing vicious.
But then we looked at what we believed it meant, that this situation happened.
What was the conclusion, what did we think was true, what was so painful (besides the attack of the self)? What was the meaning we gave to that moment?
We spent some time looking at ourselves, and what we believed it meant about us that we had behaved that way….
….but THEN we looked at what it meant about the other person in that past encounter, when we thought things didn’t go so well, we didn’t act so smart, when we weren’t in our own integrity.
I wasn’t safe with them! I felt scared! He made me nervous! She made me anxious!
Let’s do The Work, just like our group did.
Is it really true that you were not safe in that situation, with that person? Even emotionally?
Are you sure?
That person was pushy, grabby, leaving me, he didn’t care, she didn’t like me, he was critical, she was controlling, he was manipulative, she discounted me, he didn’t give a sh*t, she didn’t listen to me.
I was definitely not in safe territory, in their presence, in that situation.
How did you react when you believed that thought was absolutely true?
I pretended to be nice but did not speak my truth, I ran for dear life, I set rigid boundaries, I pushed him away, I avoided her, my whole body was tense, I couldn’t sleep later, I acted like it was OK when it wasn’t, I felt so sad, I ditched him, I talked about her with everyone I knew.
So who would you be without that thought that you were not safe with that person?
Like if you just pushed the pause button and froze that whole “unsafe” scene from the past and stared at the other person, stared at yourself, watched that past incident….
….without the belief in your mind that it was unsafe to be in that situation?
First, I notice I see him, doing what he did….and I feel the memory of adrenaline, even a touch of it right now, but I hold still, watching.
Without the thought that I’m not safe with that person, that it wasn’t a safe moment…
…I see nothing physically unsafe occurring.
Ha, that’s kinda funny.
I remember a gesture, him reaching out his hand, him saying some words, they were floating in the air. I heard them. Then I moved the way I did. We walked up a street. I got in my car. I drove away.
No grabbing, no force, no violence. No danger.
As we did our work together in that group call, it suddenly occurred to one of the participants….
….wow, like, what is “safe” anyway?
Comfort? Relaxation? Calm? Security? Absence of dread, or images, or bad feelings? No possible imagined threat whatsoever?
And WHO is the one THINKING those threatening, alarming, worse-case scenario thoughts anyway? Who is imagining that situation was so unsafe, I freak myself out about it again even when all I’m doing is remembering the situation?
“I am not completely safe with my own mind!”
Could that be true, or truer?
“You must come out of hiding behind any superstitious beliefs and find the courage to question everything, otherwise you will continue to hold onto superstitions which distort your perception and expression of that which is only ever awake…You must want to know the truth more than you want to feel secure in order to fully awaken to the fact that you are nothing but Awakeness itself.” ~ Adyashanti
I look around and notice….how very safe I am.
Life buzzing in this body, happening now, and now, and now.
Much more than my little dramatic memories and movies playing in my head.
“The worst thing you’ll ever have to face in life is a thought, a sensation, an emotion, a sound, a smell, happening in THIS moment..” ~ Jeff Foster
There is something in here, in all of us, that is completely and totally safe.
Much love, Grace