For the last couple of days I have been experiencing the vortex of fear, completely and fully sucked into the vortex - Samsara – the endless cycle of suffering. It’s been interesting to say the least. Not much conscious awareness going on while in it, or presence to it, but a lot of resistance, as in not wanting to feel it, or experience the situation that is causing it. It all seems to revolve around this musty odor now permeating the house from the crawl space (which is ½ of the basement), and the lack of knowing “what to do” about it, since my husband and I are the Frick and Frack of home maintenance. We both don’t know what we’re doing. I made several calls to various people trying to find the answer. I am getting various answers, but the common thread seems to be ventilation. As in open that sucker up and ventilate it. So that’s what we did yesterday. This whole experience seemed to open the fear vortex as well. I find it an interesting metaphor here that the crawl space is a dark and dank place that you don’t normally visit, or hang out in. Yet, having to deal with this place of darkness and dankness seems to be what I am faced with, within.
My fear over the years has been based on many things – fear of the unknown for one – and currently, not knowing what to do about this situation that has presented itself. And it’s based on the *assumption* that this could be something terrible that is going to require a huge chunk of money and professionals to solve, and why is this happening, and why doesn’t my husband know what to do to *fix* it, as he conveniently occupies himself in his business – avoiding the situation – hoping I’ll take care of it - yada, yada, yada – defaulting to my core story of victim of life. This victim lens means that I am not staying in the moment with it, but finding my own little ways to avoid the experience and the feelings that it is generating, wishing it would all go away… But I’m a big girl now and I know that isn’t going to happen… Once upon a time I was somewhat independent & self-sufficient, and then I believed the fairytale of husband take care of wife story. But after many years I finally woke up from that fairytale… So it’s back into my Kayak for another ride on the rapids.
But before I continued on my adventure down this particular life stream, I decided to have Tea with “Z”, my friend who invites me to see beyond the circumstances and the stories. (Also see Bring Your Attention to the Embrace.) While my husband opened up the crawl space openings and turned the fans on, I went to sit with my friend; not to specifically talk about this issue, but just “things” in general - like – why am I not experiencing the fluidity of life?, where is the evidence of the Divine revealing Itself?, and why am I still seeing through the lens of separation type questions. But “Z” wanted to know the specifics. I couldn’t just ask the general, ambiguous life questions. So I told him the story of the car, the heat ducts, and the musty odor in the basement (Rapids and Turbulence). He listened, and then invited me to look inside and actually *feel* what I was feeling, the rawness of it, instead of staying in my head, telling the story about what was happening. “Z” gets to the nitty-gritty whenever he can. And so I felt my body squirm and fidget as I attempted to look inside. I did not want to look at it. I resisted as much as I could, internally, and then I finally opened that dark, dank space and just looked. And that’s when I saw it, this life sucking fear vortex. It was just a little thing really, spinning in the greater Vastness of Awareness, but very powerful, creating quite a disturbance – and a lot of discomfort. The feelings were very raw as I looked into this fear vortex. I stayed with it as a long as I could, but this is going to take a few more viewings I’m sure, more conscious openings of the crawl space within, to see what lurks there until it’s fully seen through.
“Z”, noticing my discomfort, fidget and resistance, offered me the invitation to just be with it, to feel the rawness and discomfort of it, to not try to run from it, quite a feat when you feel like you’re being swallowed whole. But I held my seat as long as possible and felt the faintest of relief in the seeing of it. But just like the ventilating of the musty crawl space, this may take a while. And the tendency, the habitual pattern, besides the fear, is to resist seeing it, to hide from it – not only hide, but run screaming like a banshee who has just foreseen death, that’s how fearful “I” am of the fear vortex – that is – the “i” that fears its own death.
And did you notice in my little “process art” picture above, (I did this more than a year ago) that from the apex of the vortex tunnel there appears to be a little figure emerging? I did not draw this, it just appeared there and was noticed. Somehow this little figure, with its hat, emerged unscathed from its walk through the tunnel of fear… This gives me courage that the cyclical pattern of fear that has entrapped me for so many years may possibly be broken through the capacity to just sit with it, to *see* it, to allow it, as it arises again and again with each life circumstance.
And finally “Z’ offered this: Feelings are a portal. In the willingness to feel them, to just see them, to be with them, to allow the rawness and the discomfort of them, they open us into Consciousness Itself.
And with that I will slip back into my kayak, and paddle like hell as I keep moving through the fear vortex, with my eyes wide open to the experience, consciously seeing. :)