Many teachers speak of the art of Allowing. Being OK with what is. Being present in the moment. Surrender. Let it be. Self acceptance. Forgiveness. Much of our life, we have learned to use effort to make progress, not realizing it’s opposite is the correct technique for opening and clearing. To complete and let go of our emotional burdens requires allowing. Even deeper, to awaken to our true natures requires allowing. Letting the ‘big’ Self be as it is. Even finding God. Thus, allowing has a very important place in our life’s toolkit.
If we try and ‘do’ things to heal our emotions, we will find ourselves going in circles. We cannot heal on the level of the hurt. If we try to do things to become enlightened, we equally will fail. Certainly, there are things we can do to prepare – to study, to learn to relax, etc – but allowing is the process that will let it happen.
Trouble is, not everyone gets what this “allowing thing” is. People can meditate for decades, deeply connect to inner silence, take good care of their bodies, and study all the right teachings. But if they don’t learn to let go, they will never leave the ego. Equally, the non-seeker can carry an unbelieveable load of suffering around, curiously considering themselvses happy in some small way. “Happy” simply because they are not presently overshadowed by some “bad” emotion.
His August newsletter is a powerful example of how we can transform Anger into Love. As he observes, people can confuse allowing with their experience of indulging. They experience anger or grief or other strong emotion and think “allowing” it means investing in it, becoming more wrapped up in it. This is not what is meant by allowing. True allowing is taking a step back and simply observing the experience. Experiencing it fully, but not indulging it fully. See that “I am angry” and allow the experience to be as it is, in that awareness. Not stepping into it, but simply being aware of the experience and accepting that you are experiencing it. Then experiencing it fully.
As Burt observes, anger is an “It’s not OK” response, so we could say its making it be OK for it not to be OK. That’s an interesting little trick as not OK is resistance. But by experiencing the resistance without resistance, we can then see it as it is and release it.
The response we might have to anger is either to dive into it and have a rage or to see it happening and try to resist it. The first is investing or indulging in it, which we may later regret. The second is resistance, not allowing. The regret is also resistance and is prone to make us resist a future experience. None of these things will resolve the reason for the anger and complete it.
And no, the reason for your anger has NOTHING to do with any other person or thing. That’s called blame. All emotions arise within us. They are our response to what takes place. We cannot control what happens but we can take charge of how we are responding. That is stepping out of indulgence and into allowing.
The easiest way to deal with blame is just to recognize it doesn’t matter why. It just is. Why is just the ego wanting to blame. That is not allowing. There may not be a why, so why bother? Another why answer is just another layer added to the onion we have to peel later, another layer to the story of illusion.
At first, we will tend to notice what has happened after the fact. Then we can only control our response to the experience, the regret and such. With experience, we will begin to see it happening during where we can release it in progress. And finally, we will be clear enough to see it as it arises, as the resistance or gut clenching or tension builds up inisde. That is when we will really have choice.A place where can experience it inside and let go, without dumping on others.
Certainly, it is natural to experience anger at abuse or fear at a threat and such. But if the emotions do not wash over us and away, we are either resisting them or indulging them. Anyone who is still holding anger at events in their childhood really needs to learn about allowing. All of that resistance builds up within us into unhappiness, health problems, and relationship issues. We call it stress. It can be reflected in money problems, weight gain, problems at work, and just about anything else that inner drama can damage.
Many teachers like Gangaji, Neelam or Burt use inquiry as a method to uncover this dynamic. This is a simple process of observation. To the question or experience is asked who is experiencing it or can you be with it as it is. Looking under anger, we find fear or a hurt. Sometimes a further layer. Looking under that, peace or happiness. Our happiness has been sitting there waiting, under our pain for all these years. It really is that simple once you experience it. But it can take some time to “peel the onion” we’ve layered up in our stories.
For myself, I found that culturing gratitude was the trick. This would offer occasional openings where I could forgive or let go of previous hurts. In a moment, the old hurt would surge forward, an experience of emotion would wash over me, then it was gone. With only a little practice, i was able to step through the trash I was holding and let it go. The resistance becomes quite clear – we just have to pay attention to how we’re feeling in the moment and our attention will quickly come to where we are holding. It takes a lot of energy to support all that resistance. No wonder so many people are tired (laughs).
Remember, this process is not about struggle or control. It is the opposite, of letting go.
With practice “I am angry” becomes “there is anger”. This shows we are less and less caught up in the experience. This allows us to take greater charge of our response as it arises as another event in our lives.
The lesson of allowing is not just one that will help you feel better. It’s one that can step your quality of life up considerably. And with healing, its a trick that will help you open the door to heaven on earth. It’s a big one.
Be sure to drop by Burt’s site in a few days for the August newsletter to read his excellent artice and example of the above.