Friday, August 25, 2017
The Power of
THE POWER OF PRESENCE
I was speaking with a young man about letting go of his ideas about the future, his images of how his life 'should' be, and being present here and now, embracing himself as he actually was.
He said, "Well Jeff, if there's only this moment, only now, then I'm going to kill myself".
For a moment, he had lost all hope. Suicide seemed like the logical solution.
I stayed present. Listened. Validated his pain. Entered his world. Discovering presence can be a shock to the system, can reorganise the entire psyche, release deeply buried feelings. I understand that. I've been through it.
"I understand. It can be scary to lose all your hope".
"Yes, I'm terrified".
"Where do you feel that terror? Can you feel it in your body?"
"Yes. It's burning... in my chest".
"Great. Stay there for a moment. Feel its power".
"I feel like... I want to kill someone. I feel so fucking angry with you now. You've taken away everything..."
I stayed present.
"Yes. Yes. Where do you feel that anger?"
"In my belly, my throat, my chest..."
"What does it feel like?"
"It's like... Fire. Power. Rage. Volcanic. Like... I could destroy an entire universe".
"Yes. You're feeling your own power. It's huge. You don't have to deny it any more, or act on it, just feel it now, let it burn, honour it".
"Wow. It's a lot".
"It's yours. Just allow it. Allow those sensations in your belly, heart, throat. Breathe into them, through them..."
"I want to scream".
"I.... I.... I FUCKING HATE LIFE!"
"I HATE LIFE! I HATE EVERYONE! I HATE MY PARENTS! I HATE YOU!"
He looks at me. Our eyes meet. He bursts into tears. He slumps, his body relaxes, he breathes deeply again. His rage was met - for the first time ever- with love, acceptance. Something has been released, something old. Something unloveable has been embraced.
"My God. My God. For the first time in my life, honestly, for the first time, I feel like I'm... alive. I feel like myself".
It's amazing, the power of just staying present. Listening. Doing less. Allowing the other to go through what they have to go through, without trying to fix or save them. Taking away false hope, leaving them with new hope. Trusting their process. Trusting life. Trusting the mysteries of love's intelligence.
- Jeff Foster