TRUST THE CRAP
By Jean Tinder
When I was growing up as a very devout Christian, one of the things I fervently wished for was the ability to take away people’s suffering. I loved the stories about Jesus healing people, whether through his kindness and wisdom or by his healing touch. Oh, to be able to work such wonders in the lives of others! I am still fueled by this desire, although the dream of wielding a magic wand has necessarily given way to the more realistic and honoring approach of “show and tell.” If I can share some of what’s working for me, perhaps it will illuminate a potential for someone else. In the end, every large or small realization must come from within each person, in their own perfect time. It’s hard to watch others suffer, but I have to trust the perfection I know is already there.
Hundreds of Shaumbra have spent years and decades exploring consciousness, learning who they are, sharing with others, and faithfully consuming the Shouds and other CC materials. And yet, so many still wonder when life will finally get better, when their body will stop hurting, when their abundance will start flowing, and all the other wonders they feel Tobias and Adamus have promised. Filled with longing the questions come: “What more must I do to realize the completion and joy that’s been assured? When will I finally feel and commune with my soul?”
Having had plenty of those same moments, I get it! What’s the point of going through all the crap if there’s nothing to show for it, no tangible changes in my life? In the end, I can only share “around” the solution rather than give it directly, because the answers are only ever found within. It’s all about where I’m looking and what I’m choosing to perceive.
It is human nature to look out there, up there, or anywhere beyond here for solace and redemption. If my body hurts, I want something to fix it. If I feel alone, I want someone to bring me comfort. If money is short, I want a miracle to land in my mailbox. It seems life has always been about chasing the dream of something better than this.
Unfortunately, the chase will never be fulfilled because I’m running in the wrong direction. Well, it’s not wrong, exactly. The chase has brought me lifetimes full of rich experience, wonder, pain, and everything else. But when I’ve had enough, chasing harder or running faster doesn’t get me to my coveted reward. The solution to getting there – to reunion with my soul and a life beyond suffering – is so very, very simple. But in the gritty moment when I need it most, it doesn’t look or feel like much of a solution.
Here’s the secret: stop trying to get somewhere else and be right here in the middle of the grit and mess and frustration – the crap – of this moment. We’ve heard it a million times: the only way out is in. That doesn’t mean “Okay, I’m in, now let me out!” but rather, “There’s nothing left except to be all in.” Full stop.
What I know is that everything I experience is my creation. Whether consciously chosen or not, full of beauty and grace or chaos and drama, every bit of every moment is a gift from Me to me. When I can open to that possibility, the thing I’ve been chasing slips just a little closer. It doesn’t mean everything goes how I want it to or that life stops hurting. It means I remember that all is well, no matter what that “all” includes, and since it’s my gift to me, something good will surely result – IF I stop chasing and stay here to receive it.
I recently went through an extremely painful health issue. Physical pain is very distracting and takes a LOT of attention, and this flared up smack in the middle of a series of super intense work deadlines that wouldn’t wait until I felt better. It’s easy to feel enlightened and serene when the body isn’t screaming. But with pain, all the lofty ideals go out the window. Again and again, I reminded myself to return to the breath and at least try to receive this experience rather than resist it. But many times, I forgot, tensing up and withdrawing from my body until it was practically on autopilot. It’s an understandable reaction to pain, but essentially abandoning myself results in feeling even worse. So, I would breathe… be with the pain… forget… breathe… be with it… on and on. Sometimes my nervous system felt overloaded, flooded with stress hormones and ready to snap. I took good care of my body, being as gentle and supportive as possible while she dealt with the situation, but sometimes tears were the only expression she could manage. I tried to remember that this was serving me… somehow. Finally, with treatment and medication, things began to turn around. The intensity abated and I started feeling more like myself again.
In short, I went through a few weeks of absolute crap. So, why do I say to “trust it”? Well, if I believe everything really IS a gift from Me to me, then it makes sense to trust my own creation. Otherwise, I won’t receive the gift and Self will just have to send it again. (No, please!) Of course, all the human stuff came up – Why me? Why now? Why this? WTF? – but I (usually) answered those questions “Because it’s (hopefully) serving me.”
I decided to imagine the torment being a blessing, even if I couldn’t yet imagine how, and gradually that possibility began to emerge. Putting my whole body into my bucket again and again, I trusted and imagined that the old crappy stuck energy causing the pain was dissolving and releasing. And hurray for the creative power of imagination! I couldn’t imagine healing, being too busy with its opposite, but I could imagine it bringing a yet unknown gift. And now, as my body recovers, I do feel new clarity, balance, and a deep sensuality I’ve been longing for.
This “trust the crap” business applies outside of me too. It seems like everyone is uptight right now, and when people dear to me manage to push each other’s buttons it’s hard to watch the crap start blowing up. If only they’d ask for my advice – and follow it, of course. If only they’d take a deep breath and see things from the other’s perspective. If only Person A would do this, and Person B would say that. If only… and there I am, wanting that magic fixie wand again (it’s like a pixie wand but less realistic). But if I really trust it, their crap is as much a gift as is mine. And if theirs is bothering me, that’s MY crap, possibly reminding me about compassion.
The only way out is in, whether pain, integration, abundance, or anything else we wish for.
A very dear and wise friend (who doesn’t follow Crimson Circle) recently shared with me something they have learned about dealing with difficult emotions. I would like to share it here (with their permission) because the wisdom is very practical.
Turning Toward the Feeling
The most helpful practice I have found for dealing with painful emotions is turning my attention toward the feeling and being fully with it. Often when difficult emotions arise, my inclination is to try to avoid or escape the experience with activities, alcohol, people, drugs, entertainment, work, business, reactive thinking, or other distractions. Turning toward the feeling can seem counter intuitive because it involves taking a quiet moment to giving my full attention to feeling the discomfort rather than turning away from it.
I find it helpful to be quiet, alone, and still, and take a moment to attend to what is going on inside of me. In this experience, I am not so interested in the story of my upset, but in the sensations that are present. I don’t want to go into the details of why I am feeling this or how things should be different, but just be with the feeling in my body. Where do I feel it? What does it feel like? I hold these questions lightly to keep my attention on the experience. If other related feelings arise such as self-judgment, anger, or self-doubt, I can just fold those into the process and feel them as well. It is not uncommon for tears to come, or sometimes a subtle feeling of panic, like I am going to burst out of my skin. I think this is ok too, and it passes.
I sit in this direct experience of the difficult feelings for as long as they are active, whether 5 minutes or an hour. In time, they seem to dissolve or “be digested” and less acute. When a sense of peace or “OK-ness” returns, I go on with my day.
It is very helpful to maintain a kindness to myself in this process. I am not trying to suffer or be miserable, and certainly not punish myself. This is not about fixing me, making me better or correcting myself in any way. It is simply about being with my difficult experience with gentle, kind awareness, and I find it to be the most loving thing I can do for myself.
As we’ve been told so many times, integration and Realization are natural, and everyone will eventually find their way. The reunion with Self and everything else you long for unfolds in the gentle moments of simply being present with yourself even – especially – when things feel crappy. With that much trust, nothing else is needed.