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pinch me! [revised]

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“I can’t believe that … .” How many times do we start a sentence that way. For me these days it’s “I can’t believe that I’m loved, that my heart is in such a state of ease.” By refusing to believe, I keep reality at bay, prevent myself from experiencing what is. It’s my ego’s defense against vulnerability. If you don’t believe, you won’t be wounded again, according to the frightened creature within. By not believing, I maintain a wall — however loosely stacked — to perpetuate a familiar sense of unworthiness. As the voice of the Inner Critic overrules what my body knows to be true, it desperately tries to protect the Lost Child, only to keep it from finding its way home.

Enter the poet:  

Last night, as I was sleeping,
I dreamt — marvellous error! —

that I had a beehive
here inside my heart.
And the golden bees
were making white combs
and sweet honey
from my old failures.

Any of this sounds familiar to you? By carefully monitoring habitual response we’re able to recognize reactivity and bring awareness to both what is and what goes on inside. Fears and old wounds must be acknowledged, even honoured, but they’re only parts of the picture. Listening to the heart and exploring the body’s sensations are ways to update the data base and expand our options.

source: Bly, R. (1983). (trans.). Times alone: selected poems by Antonio Machado (1875-1939). Wesleyan. image:


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