Just as we must properly digest the food we eat to absorb its nutrients, we must also metabolize our experience, as it enters by way of our senses, nervous systems, hearts, and psyches.
Each time we have a conversation, feel a wave of melancholy or joy, dialogue with a friend, cook a meal, spend time in nature. Each time we open to this world, allow another to matter, bear witness to a sunset or a flower, or to the miracle of breath within us, a portal is unlocked.
But to what degree are we truly participating in our experience?
Where it is not just another unconsciously recorded event, by way of autopilot, but one tended to in and embodied and ensouled way? Where we touch it with the outrageousness of consciousness, and are touched by it in return?
Just because we “have” an experience does not mean it is properly assimilated. If our rage, grief, disappointment, and joy remain partly processed, we become leaky and unable to access the fuel required for a life of intimacy, connection, and flow.
If we do not properly chew and digest the food that we eat, we are not able to mine the energy our bodies need to function optimally. Without embodied experience our souls remain unnourished and we find ourselves missing life.
While the longing for transformation is noble, if we are not careful it can serve to reinforce circuitries of self-abandonment and unconscious psychic materialism. One of the shadow sides of seeking and the (seemingly) endless project of self-improvement is that we never slow down enough to digest what we have already been given, which is often much more than we consciously realize. Which, in some sense, is everything.
Not the “everything” the mind thinks it needs to be happy, found by way of “mastering” a journey of internal and external consumerism. Not the “everything” that conforms to our demand that we always feel safe and invulnerable, or free from the raging implications of what it means to have a human heart.
But the “everything” that is already here as part of our ensouled essence, the raw materials for a life of inner abundance, creativity, and meaning.
The invitation to this feast is attended to by curiosity, humility, and compassion, by slowing down and receiving the bounty that has already been offered.
I love this writing because in my experience from a lifetime of healing work, it’s so true that the work is not complete if little pieces of the soul are left abandoned in corners of the psyche. We struggle to let go, to move on, to get over it, when what we may need is to completely digest our experiences and come home to ourselves.