Asking for help, receiving a compliment, a relaxed body, letting someone in, looking deep into the eyes of another, hugging, gratitude, transformation, being seen, being curious, dancing.
The proof of the pudding is in the eating folks. Meaning, if you want to know how open or evolved you really are, the body and your behavior are great indicators. So is feedback from other people about your body and behaviors.
What is motivating this post today is some insights I’ve had about myself and what I see in others and how this ties in to the body and our behaviors and how, by paying attention, we can use the body and our behaviors to guide us into a deeper understanding of ourselves than our wounds will allow us to see.
Most of us block life. We don’t let it in. We resist it. We clench against it. We bolster ourselves, we protect ourselves, we say no.
I have recently come to see how deeply guarded I am. How all the work of peeling away layer after layer has finally gotten me to a place of getting into the deep gooey center of myself and finding that I am way more sensitive and sweet and innocent and caring than I would have ever admitted. And this has been something I have been ashamed of. And I’ve been protecting it, like a dragon guarding treasure. Ferocious and impenetrable. While acting all warm and available.
Tricky stuff, wounds.
My way of framing the world has very craftily allowed me to appear a lot less guarded than my reality. It’s some super stealth expert-level camouflaging. I mean, wow, I’m good!
And I’m not saying “I’m there”, by any means. I’m saying I’m no longer afraid of how not there I am. And this has opened my eyes to my fellow humans in a new way. Because we really are way more similar than any of us want to admit – individuality is a fantastic, sneaky, sneaky shield.
So I am in a situation with someone that I care for and like a lot. He is super deep. And really strong. And pretty much his own unit, as in, impenetrable. And he is dedicated to being open and to connection. The layer of guarding in him is so deep that his own consciousness can’t yet penetrate it. There are so many gifts he brings because he can hold space for us to each be who and what we are coupled with the desire to grow beyond, to become more, and to do this with each other.
His impenetrability allows me to see my own impenetrability. And I can see the beauty of what love does to the hard places in us, the guarded places in us, and how essential another is to our own opening. His strength and ability to hold space lets me take a deeper look at myself more gently and more bravely than I could do on my own. He penetrates my guarding just by showing up.
So this got me thinking about how to become more easily penetrated.
Because we need to be penetrated.
I am using this word very intentionally. Because there is a vulnerability to it. And a breaking through. And an opening. And a violation. When we are guarded this word will be uncomfortable.
The beauty of this is that we can use our discomfort as a rope, a line to grab onto and pull ourselves into our own wounded, murky depths.
Depending on how open or not we already are gives context to what kinds of penetration we can tolerate without inducing PTSD or something. If you are a hard hugger, if hugging is uncomfortable for you in any way, then allowing a hug, receiving a hug, not tightening against a hug, would likely be a vulnerable thing that has a penetrating quality to it for you.
If you don’t receive compliments very well, write a letter to 5 friends and tell them you don’t receive compliments well and you are choosing to open more to life and be penetrated by love (bonus points for actually saying “penetrated”) and ask them to send you a heart-felt compliment. Or tell you in person. And to give you feedback about how well you received it according to their experience of being received.
Scarey? Then you are likely shielding yourself from life.
There is a direct correlate between how much we shield ourselves and how much joy and gratitude we experience.
The thing is, you don’t get to be truly joyous, happy, fulfilled AND shielded!
And this is the big “ah ha” I had because I have, unconsciously, worked really, really hard on making my shielding and my joy/happiness/fulfillment co-exist and thinking I was all evolved because I had created a fairly high percentage of the simultaneous happening of these things. I did not realize I was being sneaking and not allowing myself to be truly penetrated. Like I could appear open and not really let something in. Do you know what I mean? Do you do that, too?
I’m kind of on a “get penetrated!” kick because it is where some really juicy, wounded, vulnerable territory is.
I’ve been on a “get penetrated” kick before. I get here every time I open in a deeper layer. But I think that making penetration a core tool in the personal growth tool kit is essential. Not to take it and leave it but to make it an ongoing, integrated component of navigating day to day life.
This also means paying attention to how we penetrate another.
For example: going into psychoanalyzing someone without their permission is a penetration that is most often a violation. And when we violate someone we reinforce their reasons for justifying being guarded. And this is one of the ways we contribute to making the world feel like a cruel place for each other. Let’s be more kind. Let’s at least get permission to penetrate.
And let’s give permission to be penetrated.
When we allow another into our tightness, into our guarding, their entrance expands and stretches us and makes layers of protection fall away.
One way of being penetrated can be massage. And this is actually a great metaphor. Because when we let someone massage a tight muscle, we are letting another person open us, stretch us, release and remove our tension, penetrate the knots and dissolve them.
But we have to consciously seek and be aware of the concept of penetration so we can make a choice about it. If not, the vulnerable wounds in us will experience the world as cruel and live in a story that justifies being closed.
We cannot be closed and happy.
Yes, we can have the illusion of happy. But until the deep down parts of us also experience the sun of life shining on them we will have parts of who we are living in isolation, fear, shame, and loneliness.
At some point we all outgrow being satisfied by partial happiness.
If you want more, you have to be able to open to more. And I’ve learned, repeatedly, that we cannot open ourselves by ourselves. We need others to stretch us open by allowing their love to penetrate us. We do this simply by not saying no. Or, ideally, saying yes.
I realize that this is going to be a discomfort-inducing article for many of you. And if you made it this far, you either allowed yourself to be penetrated or you are open enough already to be here or you are so guarded that you are oblivious to how impenetrable you are and think you are receiving this when you are really just in your head.
So how deep can you go?
How deep can you be willing to go, even if you don’t know how?
Can you get excited, turned on, juiced up, by the idea of being penetrated?
If not, I would dare to say you are limiting life’s access to you. And it might be worth taking a look at.
Do you know how much freedom there is in it? In not controlling all the time? In not resisting? In not tightening?
Clenching is exhausting! And the relief of letting life in, of no longer guarding so much, is just huge. Well, once the terror passes. Haven’t you ever wondered why you are really so tired all the time? Or where all your energy is going?
This is my first stab at really talking about this in this way so I hope it makes some sense or at least creates a feeling of resonance or opens something in you that gives your conscious mind a new tool, or a new way to consider your way of being that allows some of your own guardedness to fall away and lets some light into whatever is isolated.
We are all really so beautiful when we let ourselves be seen. There is an inherent beauty in vulnerability, so even when we are awkward or sobbing or struggling with it our blossoming dominates the landscape and the heart of another, if it is open, will experience our beauty more than the ugliness our pain can make.
There is so much more to say about this but I will end here.
Thank you for whatever way you received this.