Stop the fan!


Feeling certain painful feelings like fear, inadequacy, and abandonment are difficult for all of us… so we avoid them. We hide them from the light. We don’t want others to see them, much less ourselves. So what do we do? We think. We plan. We distract ourselves… with thoughts.

We turn up the fan. Thinking thinking thinking, we convince ourselves that we’re blocking out the danger. That the fan is somehow protecting us… from what?

Alas, we can’t keep negative feelings away forever, no matter what we do. Most people enter into depression if they don’t turn the fan down at least a little… and let feelings come back in. And while we feel more negative emotions, we also feel more positive ones. In short, the slower the fan, the less distractions… and the more we feel of everything. We feel the air! We feel the beauty of our sadness, the excitement of our confusion! We feel something waking up inside us, something exhilarating – like being on a first date – with rushes of fear, attraction, awkwardness and bliss, all at the same time. This feeling of aliveness is so powerful, we have to get used to it all over again.

We finally let the warmth in… after being in the dark for so long! It reminds me of working with tomato plants this year in late September. As the leaves began to change, I noticed that even the ones protecting the ripening tomatoes had begun to fall off. The plants were no longer afraid of the sun. They had began to expose themselves.

I think the same thing is happening with us: we begin to realize that true feelings won’t kill us, that we can let the light shine inside us. We don’t need to keep protecting ourselves with thoughts, with shade, with this continuously spinning fan. We can even turn the fan off (for a change) and remain quiet, unmoving – ecstatic, even! – with our feelings, here and now, devouring this aliveness.

And when we do, when we’re no longer afraid of the sun… the most beautiful thing happens: we actually feel the LIGHT hit our hearts again. And guess what?

It feels like love!

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