Recently, in a situation I was both peripherally and deeply involved in, I could see the paradox in that situation and was aware of old patterns of behaviour, interaction and showing up beckoning at the door. I knew in my heart it was an opportunity for me to see just how much I may have shifted the shape of my old patterns. I wanted to enter into the space and conversation being demanded of me in a way that was open but with clear boundaries, with compassion and the ability to listen rather than be defensive.
I had the good fortune of receiving wisdom from a dear friend, a Warrior of the Heart. What he told me resonates with me weeks later – a clear indicator of just how powerful his advice was for me in my journey. He said it was okay to be clear about my boundaries, to even identify that I had a limited amount of time available for the conversation if need be. And then he said the thing I still sit with: “You will only absorb us much hurt as you feel guilt.” That landed with a quiet but powerful thud, breaking into my awareness with precise clarity. “You will only absorb as much hurt as you feel guilt.” Wow!
I had a bit of time to reflect on what, if anything, I might have felt guilty about in this particular situation. Just having the opportunity to ask myself the question released anything that may have been lingering, unaware and unconscious, under the surface. Which meant it did not show up energetically in my field as part of my shadow.
I was then able to enter a potentially difficult conversation with far more openness and receptivity than I would otherwise have had available to me and there is no question in my mind it shifted the shape of the conversation. I had no need to overtly claim boundaries – they were honoured in the conversation. I was able to acknowledge the experience of the other person and knew exactly what support I was authentically able to offer, support that was acknowledged graciously – and that would not have been the case in past interactions.
Since this particular incidence, I have been sitting with this amazing, unexpected little gift: You will only absorb as much hurt as you feel guilt. I can see how this dynamic and pattern has clearly played itself out in my life, over the whole course of my life. Absorbing hurt was just what I deserved for whatever wrong – real and imagined – I committed against others. Fortunately, I don’t feel the need to closely examine every little (and big) example of this throughout my life (that would probably take another whole lifetime) but now being able to consciously ask myself this question going forward is a gift to me for clearing shadow in beautiful and unexpected ways leading to results I might not have thought possible.
What’s your reflection on how understanding this little statement: You will only absorb as much hurt as you feel guilt, shifts the shape of your experience?