What is the value of hiding? In the game of “peek a boo”, there is joyful quality to hiding and then being seen. So what happened that at this stage we don’t want to be found out.
I have just returned from the mountains this autumn. What struck me the most was the aliveness in the natural world, and the capacity of the human body to meet that life force creating a symbiotic whole. There is an order, a simplicity, a straightforwardness that leaves no room for doubt. Lying besides the mountain lake early in the morning with the mist skimming on its still surface while the sun beckoned its becoming was a marvel to witness. I too was continuously invited by the veils of the alpine world to cradle the change of internal seasons along with earth seasons. The silence was comfortably, warmly deep, nurturing and rare in today’s electronically driven world. Nature itself is its adornment. There is no hiding.
Much of my professional work has to do with sitting and moving with the ways we hide within ourselves and consequently from others in our lives. This creates humans not really seeing each other because most are not really showing up out of their hiding places. And even when we find the courage to come out, the other might still want to be playing the hiding part. So why do we all play hide and seek?
What is the value of hiding? In the game of “peek a boo”, there is joyful quality to hiding and then being seen. So what happened that at this stage we don’t want to be found out. There is a sense of we are not enough or if we could just fix this then after we could show up. Shame is usually the motivating factor for the continual do it myself until i am perfect so i can be loved. Sounds familiar? This is a big part why the commerce of psycho-spiritual development is thriving in the bay area. As long as we think we are not enough, we are going to search for something to fill us up. As long we feel we are missing, then wholeness is ever elusive. Similarly this is why the dating sites are filled with the not quite true portrayal of our full selves. And the self deprecating humor that abound as a hallmark of stand up comedy will always have an audience. The whole market of cosmetics is about putting a mask on so the world can accept us as pleasing to look at. What does it say about our culture that pushes wearing a mask to be acceptable?
But what if we just experience naked? Completely nude in the ice cold river of our deepest desires. What if we surrender to exhaustion? What does empty taste like? You know that calamity of the bug going kamikaze unto the windshield? That place where we reach for another but he/she is just not there. That moment when the fire of yearning turns into ashes. When neither the heat of your passion nor the well of your tears have led the parade to your loneliness. What do we do when we collapse? I invite you to bring your curiosity to what is right now. How do we stop ourselves from truly experiencing collapse and put up a face to still be there in physicality, especially in front of others? What is it costing us? Are the benefits truly worth the price? Can we allow ourselves to be seen by ourselves foremost in these places that are less than happy, less than put together? These places when we do feel the need (oh yes, need) to contact, to connect, to belong. These places within where nurturance, nourishment, being seen by another is what is healing, loving, the right medicine. The right timing, the perfection is always in the moment. Unfortunately we live in a culture where the norm is to keep pushing off the now because of time and self importance perceptions.
We cut ourselves in pieces, leave our bodies, pretend it isn’t really hurting or that the frustrated desire is really okay. Or that doing this other thing will get me happy. Or if only I collude with a group that gets together only to get happy, then it or I must be good. I will refrain from assuaging your rising anxiety and reverse into Pollyanna mode. We rationalize our way out of the I am getting really small sensation and that it doesn’t really matter anyway or that this is what a man or grown up woman does! Or that in the bigger picture of this, this is why it is happening. Such rationalizations no matter how grand in order to evade what is happening is still not being here with what is showing up now.
What if we just feel what we feel? As we feel the melting snow in our hands on the mountain as well as the heat on our cheeks from the joy of discovery. The trajectory of exploration is no different than following the trail of despair of not getting what we want. The sadness and desolation that we are not in control. The fear that what we finally got will disappear, yank out of our grasp and that prized possession that made us feel better and together to the world is no longer justifying our worth. Not that it did in the first place. We just thought it. That our health is not something we can count on even if we eat all organic foods and exercise. That saving up money all your life can wither away because the financial market said so.That our enoughness is not tied with any of these qualities, or things, or people no matter how much we love them. Either side is just a story. One is a drama of bliss, the other a drama with a different twist. None of these equal our worth, our inherent value. This kind of curiosity can become our medicine to finding our true preciousness apart from any contingencies. This nakedness breaks the walls of isolation and opens access to something greater than our worn out beliefs.
This is not an ode for you or anyone to be chained to sorrow. Once a new client asked me, “do all of you clients cry?” I said, “Most cry. Most laugh.” We visit places of lament and we travel to places of expansion. The spectrum of being human is so vast and wide. We find our medicine in every aspect of ourselves, the stillness and the manic. We invite the beauty in each in whatever face it shows. We coax those parts out of hiding so we may remember our original dance.
Here is to you dancing in nakedness!!!