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The heART of Ritual


On Perception

We all have certain feelings or experiences that we’ll do just about anything to avoid. It’s just too much, too raw, too tender, too uncertain.

In a variety of ways, we’ve organized our lives (often for very good reason) around never having to feel these feelings or stay embodied to these experiences, which requires a tremendous amount of psychic energy, and may be one reason why so many of us feel exhausted and tired. Not only in our physical bodies, but a deep, soul-level exhaustion.

This experience that has become so essential for us to avoid, at all costs, could be boredom or restlessness, sadness or loneliness, the fear of being abandoned, or an aching sense of shame or that we’ve failed at life. In paradoxical ways, it can even be the experience of causeless joy, happiness, or peace, or the capacity to play and rest.

When these visitors appear at the doorway and begin to make their way into the living room of our conscious experience, we feel anxious, but aren’t always sure why. A portal has opened, but it feels too unknown there, too shaky, too unsafe. Alongside all this, a longing has been located within us, hidden in a secret place ~ to know and dance and play from within the lived experience of totality. We know that the intimacy, the connection, and the aliveness that we long for will never be found in partiality, but only in a radical, embodied attunement to the full spectrum.

So when the visitor appears, we might open to the possibility that it is the ally in disguise, come not to harm or take us down, but as a harbinger of integration and forerunner of wholeness. As a guide into the depths. Not always a guide who is sweet and flowy and syntonic to the status quo, but one who at times is fierce, wrathful, and 'other' to what we already know. While not easy to receive and provide sanctuary and safe passage for this one, they arrive within a container of love.

But the nature of this love is only revealed by way of cleansed perception, which is an activity that is always of the mystery. ~ words by Matt Licata.


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