Friday, January 14, 2011

On Holding Back A Small Bit...Just in Case

I know when something extra powerful and important is happening in my prayer life when I get a glimpse into some dusty, dark, hoped-to-be-forgotten part of my heart. This can happen, of course, on the yoga mat, while dancing, or kneeling at mass.  It's all the same thing.

The other day, I had one of my Fear of Abandonment Attacks.  These can happen in response to just about any perceived threat ("perceived" as in imagined, not at all based in the reality of my present, love-filled life).  Sometimes the same "threat" comes along and all of my new coping mechanisms work and I don't respond.  Sometimes nothing works and I have to simply walk through the fear and get to the other side.  Each time this happens, I learn something extra big.

This past week, I learned, firstly and thanks to Marcy pointing it out, that I perceive Love like a pie and if anyone else is getting any of that sweet treat, it means my piece is shrinking.

Love, of course, does not work like this.  Not "perfect Love."  Perfect love grows each time we are offered another soul to share it with.  It is exponential in its growth.  So, my treat gets bigger as Love in general gets bigger.

This led to my second and even Bigger Lesson.

It came to me, this time, during prayer: I hold back.

I hold back bits of myself, bits of my heart, bits of my enthusiasm, bits of my awe...just in case.  Just in case someone or something is out to hurt me.

Just in case I find that I "need" to say, "Well, it didn't really matter anyway...I didn't really care that much..."

What really startled me was hearing myself admit for the first time in the deep silence of prayer that I hold back bits of myself from Marcy!

I hold back bits from God and bits from my spiritual life.

I hold back bits from Dance.

Just in case.

Just in case any of those things are maybe possibly going to hurt me in the future.  So I can say, "it didn't really matter...I was only partly invested."

It used to totally confuse me when people would talk about giving one's self over completely.

Now I get it.

I have to lay my heart bare.  Like those icons of Mary and Christ where they are holding back their robes to reveal their Immaculate and Sacred Hearts.

I need to live a meditation that I guide my movement students through: Imagine peeling back the sternum and allowing the emerald green of the heart center to emerge. See yourself walking around with this green glow preceding you, bathing you and others in its loving light.

Or really?  I am still just saying No.  I am still living from Fear.

And this is the year of saying Yes and confronting fear so holding back will no longer do...


claire said...

Christine, it is simply beautiful to see you unfold and become more and more luminous.
Blessings on your journey.

Heather Plett said...

Beautifully said. I think I'll be thinking about this more throughout the day - you've made me wonder about what I hold back, because I know I do too.

Christa said...

Wonderful post! It gives me great insight into something that I know I do. It's a protective mechanism for me. Like walls. I guard my heart as it has been broken too many times. I am still healing but slowly, perhaps, I can peel some layers back as I put my trust in God and not man.
Thank you for pointing out the sacred heart. I get it now. With an open heart.

God Bless

Angela Raincatcher said...

I hear ya, sister! I do this same thing and have come to much the same conclusion.

I wrote a post about it a week or so ago:

Along with continuing to open my heart, I am working to open my eyes this year to daily joy.

Blessings on your journey!

Anonymous said...

Love this! I can really a "bliss chick" book where you include all these posts that are really important to you. And maybe have an outline of the most important breakthroughs... just a thought :)

Laurina said...

I too realize how much I hold back, how much I fear, while I often preach the opposite... thanks for this illuminating post.. it's been a while since I've read your posts! :) And happy 2011 xx

ladybug said...

what a beautiful post to share...thank you for these thoughts that resonate so deeply in my own self.

Deborah said...

There's a movie called Gattica with Ethan Hawke. There's a point in the movie where they are talking about a swimming contest and he says to his brother "That's the difference between you and me - you always saved something for the way back." It's a powerful scene in part because of the complexity of the subject of holding back. Thank you for sharing, Christine!

Christine Claire Reed said...

Deborah, I have watched that film a few times, actually. :) And yes, love that line!