“You are free to be here.” — Thich Nhat Hanh
The above quote refers to the freedom to come into the present moment in order to release suffering that focusing on past and future trigger in us. When we usher ourselves into present moment awareness it becomes possible to acknowledge and be present with deeper emotions in order to be able to heal and release them. Being present in the moment is not about denying or avoiding any part of our selves. We all have negative thoughts, negative feelings, beliefs, prejudices, judgments as well as a lack of surrender, gratitude and forgivenesswithin us at some time. It is all part of the human journey. Mindfulness and being present in the NOW– done honestly– lets us embrace all of our parts in order to see how our minds are working that cause pain and suffering and make it possible for the deeper richer qualities inherent in human being to arise.
It is not the dive into emotions that make us crazy and dysfunctional…..it is the denial and other dysfunctional defenses we engage in that tip us over the edge. Our nervous systems are not equipped to handle unrelenting stress and stuffing of emotion and denial of our reality.
Spiritual bypassing is just as rampant as denial and avoidance—actually spiritual bypassing could be thought of a cleaned up version of those dysfunctional defenses. We are human. We have nasty feelings, flaws and failings. We have a shadow—a handy compartment where we store all that we do not want to own. We must compassionately embrace/own that shadow–find out what it wants/needs (truly, not a superficial version) and then we may be on the road to living in this world with true freedom, health, happiness and harmony.
Can we really have understanding, tolerance and compassion for others before we sincerely have it within for ourselves? It is perhaps a big job and a long road, but in my opinion it is only that kind of”psycho-spiritual” expansion that will lead to a foundation for living where man’s inhumanity to man, man made disasters and massacres no longer occur.