“Acknowledging what is" or how to make friends with my fear
Bert Hellinger’s words “Acknowledging what is” are fluttering in my mind.
On social media and around me I am seeing and hearing many messages of positive affirmation since the Coronavirus pandemic started. Messages that prompt us to look for the beauty in life and avoid the ugly, to connect to love instead of fear.
Being grateful for what we have, feeling compassion and love for others and connecting with nature are great ways to stay in good spirits and raise our level of vibration. Appreciating the delicate flower blooming in our garden is part of life. Yet, it might not be all that is. The pain and the suffering that the Coronavirus is creating is also life. The grief, the sense of being overwhelmed, the panic and the losses are real. Excluding or hiding this side of the coin does not serve life. It dissociates us from the pain, prevents us from feeling our vulnerability and gives us a false sense of control. When I am protecting myself, I am separating from others.
We know through constellation work that we can only be free from the past (entanglements with ancestors, perpetrators and victims, events that shook past generations) when we can acknowledge and honour the terrible things that happened in the story of our family. Life is everything that is. The beauty and the horrible alike. Life is also bigger than us. As is this pandemic. Agreeing with this virus, saying yes to what is happening now brings a sense of humility and it is most liberating.
We also know that we are part of the whole. The fear we are seeing outside (the panic behaviour at the supermarket, the anxiety around the lockdown, fears of separation and isolation) might also be in us. What happens if I recognize my own fear? When I honour it? Often the power of the fear diminishes. I am more in tune with myself, I am more in touch with the parts that are still dissociated within me. When I relate to my own vulnerability, I resonate with the vulnerability of others. I am more open and feel more compassionate.
Ultimately life wants to heal itself. Crises are part of evolution. This virus is here for us, for humanity, to listen and grow. First spoke the fire (bushfires), then the water (floods), now, the air (coronavirus). The Earth is telling us to stop, sit and listen. Listen to our fear too.
So, what is my fear about? Am I afraid of becoming ill? Being disconnected from my family? Losing my job? Not being able to provide? What would be the worst part of this? How old is my fear?
I invite you to take a moment and check within. Take a couple of deeper breaths, notice your body, your emotions, your thoughts. Witness what is showing up right now without judging it, without wanting to change it. Stay connected to your experience for a while. Allow some minutes to pass. Keep bringing your awareness to what arises. Feel in your body where you feel this fear. What is my fear about? How old is my fear? Let your body talk. Is my fear a response to what is happening now? Or is it an old fear of mine? Is there anyone in my family of origin, my parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, who might have gone through the same feeling? Fear comes in many layers, and a collective trauma like this pandemic also brings to the surface previous historic and social traumas like war, colonisation and migration that were not integrated.
Challenging moments like this uncertain start of 2020 may reactivate old wounds in us. If we ask our body, it will give us information in the form of images, words and emotions. With every layer of fear that I peel back, I feel more grounded and more able to relate. I see this epidemic as an opportunity to engage our shadow with honesty, an invitation to make friends with our fear within, to integrate it so we stay related to ourselves and to others.
Please take care of yourselves with love and compassion. Do this meditation only if you feel safe and you can self-regulate. If in need, reach out to a friend, family or a therapist. We are in this together, and we will heal in communion. Namaste.
“We grow into our life’s purpose by integrating what seems difficult and hard for us.” Thomas Hübl
Photo: Pep Gasol