The Therapy Booth

resting, doodling and holding love signs

Mama, take this badge off of me

on September 26, 2012

What I Love About the UI (Unfindable Inquiry, from the Living Inquiries), # 16:

Nothing’s added. Nothing. I get to upload, unload, lay down my load, and there’s nothing added to it. Not an interpretation. Not a question about why. Not a suggestion about what to do about it to make me and my circumstances better.

Even though – believe me – I have entered into the inquiry with a desperate hope for betterment on the outside. And that, too, gets placed at the lotus feet of the inquiry itself. Nothing rejected, everything respected, all life accepted.

When it comes down to it, every little bit is honored. It’s a paradox, though: the full honoring of everything married to the total fleeting and empty nature of it all.

How do we talk about these things?

With gratitude, that’s how.

Earlier today I sat on our front porch as the heat of the day came on, steeped in a sense of “rotting in hell.” Yeah, I know it sounds dramatic, but ain’t that just the way sometimes? Ain’t it just . . .

Finally I reached out to myself, not finding a facilitator available right then and knowing that no chat with a friend was going to move into the heart of this, no conversation was going to release this pressure valve.

I came into my room, placed my glass of water, tissues, notebook and dry erase board around me, and I looked  for the one who is rotting in hell.

First I did a Panorama, a way of drawing out every circumstance/person/reminder of the current feelings. I drew a circle of squares surrounding rotting in hell in the center. The circles went on and on until they were three deep with evidence and instigating triggers. Om, says I, as I settled down to look. Man oh man, this seems like an awful lot.

And then I looked, surfing between words scribbled out in blue dry erase marker on my little white board like mad scrawlings on a cell wall and diving down into the body, resting both there and in the space that holds, nurtures and releases it all.

I’d like to share with you some of what I’d scrawled there, but as each sentence, each scream of fear was seen not to be me – the one rotting in hell – I erased it and rested some more.

About an hour later, I emerged from my room, following nature’s call to visit the loo, noticeably clearer, unburdened, dare I say – even – friendly?

A different method from other loves of mine (journaling and Morning Pages), this experience of slowly and patiently taking a look at each little ism that’s arising – from words like I’m afraid everyone’s going to get ahead of me and I’m going to fall behind and be even worse off than I am now, to a visual memory of a scene in my dream last night, to deep and unnameable feelings in my belly – each was gently and thoroughly examined. I looked into heartbreaking memories and flashes of my latest favorite TV show: whatever came. All of it. Looking from that place of rest, held here in its quiet stillness, I looked and asked: Is that me? The one who is rotting in hell?

It’s a super simple process, once learned, and although I do a lot of mini inquiry on my own, I don’t often sit myself down for a full-on on-my-own session. But today simply called for it. There was nothing else to do but to join with all of those uprisings in this space and see what could be seen. Give it all its honor. Adding no debate to it. Neither adding nor taking away.

Have I come to any conclusions? Nope. Not a one. All I know is that I don’t feel like I’m rotting in hell at this moment, nor do the words seem to have any significant home here. It’s like Mooji says: Anyone can stop by; just no sleepovers.

This is such an incredibly worthwhile process, I just had to come here to write about it and share it with you all.

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2 Responses to “Mama, take this badge off of me”

  1. Robin Rose says:

    What a wonderful reading to start my day with!. What I love about your writing Carin is that you give me something I can sink my teeth into: it’s gutsy, inspiring, practical, evocative. And, nothing added, YES!

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