Staying “Permeable”

The hag in Massbrook Woods
The hag in Massbrook Woods

I once read something by Luisa Francia, one of the wise-women whose life’s work have given me so much inspiration and teaching on my own pagan path. She described how she’d dealt with being burgled by allowing, rather than resisting, her attacker, and letting his energy flow through her without doing any damage. In recent years, I’ve started to learn to apply this principle to my own emotions as well.

If you know me, you’ll know that I’m an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and also highly emotional. Most of my life, I’ve struggled to embrace this rather than view it as a liability. I’m currently in another phase where I experience fairly intense emotions – mostly, I’m overflowing with happiness, but there are other periods, too.

I was talking to my wonderful Inga the other day, when I was in quite a lot of emotional pain. We talked about the difference between drawn-out, relived or self-tortorous pain versus the “clean” pain of simply experiencing different things in life. Today, I was reminded of Luisa Francia’s story, and I think the key to it is to allow it to happen and feel the full extent of the emotion, but without putting up any resistance, so that it can run its course and then flow through me – and leave my system.

It’s very scary and requires a lot of trust. The thing with sadness or, as I remember from a few years ago, heartbreak, is that they feel so real and absolute. When I fully allow them, they threaten to swallow me whole and I’m convinced that I can’t possibly ever feel anything else again. But the true pain, the kind which leaves behind real damage, only happens when I then try to hold back and resist. As long as I manage to allow it, it invariably ebbs off after a while, and it’s often a much shorter period than I’d thought possible.

I wonder if this makes sense to anyone except myself (I know it does to highly evolved and wise people, but they’re so much better than I am at explaining the concept)?

Mount Nephin, Maigh Eo
Mount Nephin in Maigh Eo

For me, the conclusions are clear, and they’re closely connected to my life purpose, the catalyst work I was put here to do. It’s only possible as long as I feel unconditionally, love unconditionally, and allow absolutely everything. And I can only get through all of these by staying “permeable”, not holding on or resisting, and letting it flow through me.

This is also why depression is my arch enemy. It’s the “dark side of the Force”, the moment when I capitulate and long for respite from the intensity. Depression makes me numb; it’s quite literally the absence of feeling. It’s also the death of me, not in the physical sense but in the sense of all that truly makes me who I am.

People often try and fix other’s pain or sorrow, but if it’s the “good kind”, then that’s really not necessary; it’s part of the deal and it always, always passes and makes the beauty and the miracles possible which also happen. And I’m learning, too. Mostly when I get hurt, it’s because I don’t live up to my own expectations. Believe me, I’m really working on that and I’m getting better. But I still have that expectation to be the best me for the people who deserve it (and most people do), and when I fail to deliver this, then I sometimes can’t help beating myself up about it.

At least for a bit, until it’s run its course and leaves my system. See how this works?

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