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  • Writer's pictureLorraine Arnold

Divine presence

Updated: Dec 30, 2020

We all have our own unique experiences of what the divine presence is. For some, it’s a deep feeling of unity within, finding joy in the details, love, inner peace in the face of uncertainty, a feeling of deep satisfaction, bliss, a connection to nature, God, the deepest or highest part of ourselves, a trust, an instinct, a knowing, finding compassion for self or others, being in the zone, touching our soul, feeling the presence of our loved ones who have passed, riding a good wave, seeing warmth in someone’s face, a sunrise, feeling the grass on the soles of our feet, the smell of a flower, the embrace of a friend and the list goes on.

The summer holiday period has traditionally given us the space to reflect, by way of family and friend’s coming together, trips, work, and studies breaking, etc. We typically experience an expected December rush and a January pause. This holiday season is different, in that it comes with an accumulation of a year’s full of uncontrollable circumstances from across the globe and locally, that has impacted every one of us. We’ve been called to take a new look at what we value and who we value. The quality and nature of our reflections have changed, and many of us have explored much more deeply from within.

One approach to navigating the more challenging moments of this time is to practice surrendering to the emptiness, which may mean noticing, acknowledging, and working through the fear, disappointment, worry, concern, loneliness, isolation, sadness, or terror. What am I feeling at this moment? What’s underneath that? And what’s underneath that? And underneath that? And so on… Where am I feeling it in my body? What’s its shape, colour, texture, and so on… Is it moving, changing quality, and/or dissolving as I bring conscious awareness to it, and be with it? Do I need to talk it through with someone, put some music on, take a salt bath, write it out, do some sport, stretch, jump into the ocean, draw or paint it out, be in nature? How can I process what I am experiencing, feeling, and wanting to shift?

There is a multitude of approaches to facing, working through, and healing emotions in this vast healing playground. Each of us has a unique way of healing and transmuting the more difficult emotions and gently allowing in / choosing the higher states mentioned above; our divine nature. The trick is to remember to check-in, and often.

This doesn’t have to be a grand spiritual practice, perhaps your life can’t fold that in right now. A minute here, a minute there… factor it in… while cooking, cleaning, waiting at the bus stop, gardening, showering, changing nappies, waiting in the queue at the shops. What am I feeling? Where am I feeling it? I surrender to the emptiness, to feel the presence of the Divine.

Perhaps you have just lost it at a stranger or had an extreme reaction to something. What’s happening underneath this? What do I need right now? What am I really feeling, and what’s this really about? People experience different depths of emotions, different timelines for how we move through them, different combinations of experiences, and different personal or collective narratives that add to or even create them. We are all unique, and we are all both light and shadow.

Shadow work includes moving through and owning our emotions, especially the ones we have cast deep into the unconscious (for example, deep rage, fear, jealousy, revenge, hatred, control). One of the tricks of the shadow is ‘projection’ and what is deeply personal (for example, self-hatred and internal fear) can be unknowingly projected onto the public (or our loved ones). In doing so, we may sometimes block from our conscious awareness the “more shadowy emotions out there” that are actually inside us too. Owning the fullness of being human, helps us arrive at compassion and unity, and ultimately our presence to our divine being. We are everything (light and shadow), and we are nothing.

Instead of blocking the more difficult emotions, we can ask ourselves how we can gently heal and transmute them to allow the presence of our divine nature. What do we usually do to fill the emptiness, the unknown? What is our mode of operation when it comes to fear, isolation, rejection, disappointment, sadness, etc. In other words, what does our “block my emotions” trickster tricks look like? For some of us, it’s being busy, needing to control details, too much eating, drinking, shopping, sex, gossiping, or even dwelling in only well-oiled emotional or mental states (for example, anger or obsessive thinking) rather than the full spectrum of emotions and perspectives. What would it be like to move through them instead, and arrive at the void… to connect with the presence of divinity in and around us? To be from a place of divinity, the deepest or highest part, the all-knowing part of ourselves.

The world may be particularly uncertain around us at the moment, however, the world within us is our private dominion, and our place to command, work through, cultivate and nourish.

In surrendering to the emptiness, we come closer to the presence of our divine being.

Lorraine Arnold

Psychotherapist & Metaphysical Healer

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