Taking a Breath

BreatheIt occurred to me this morning, as I was beginning my meditation, that some of the time the request for a deep breath is denied by the body.

There is a tension, a fear, some feeling that is blocking the body’s ability to relax and just breathe.

The question is, as a person who meditates, “Now what?”

The usual first response is to judge. What is wrong with me? Why can’t I breathe? The inner voice says “Oh no, this proves there is some danger, I knew it all along!”

In response to this inner voice, the body becomes rigid. Now every part of me is convinced. Death is imminent.

Then, because I have been practicing the great art of “remembering,” I go toward the tension rather than succumb to the temptation of avoiding it.

As I get closer, I recognize this part. I had disowned her many years ago. She was too much.

That was the belief then.

Now, I realize I cannot be whole without her. She has so much life to offer, life that long ago was rejected by parents who knew no better.

Tears stream down my face. Tears of sadness, then relief at my willingness and ability to feel what at one time would have surely killed me.

We cannot go around these parts, painful and fearful as this process may be. This is the process of meditation. We go into ourselves that we may find more and more of what had to be tucked away. We dismantle the wall of separation which we built out of our need to protect our broken hearts. We feel the pain still lingering there, waiting for us to remember. We welcome this pain now, knowing that this is just pain and it will go away. We no longer have to hold this against ourselves, but rather ingather.

 

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