I notice my feelings of shy awkwardness in NOE class tonight when someone asks me how I am doing. “Good”, I say and immediately feel the discomfort of vulnerability. After all, she had just shared with me her very deeply personal place of where she is in her work. I can’t go into “chatty” Laura here, not with these people. I might get away with it, but it would be a conversation killer in this crowd. So, I tell her. I am working with my vulnerability and even just saying it out loud makes me uncomfortable. I feel my face getting red and realize that perhaps it is not because I am ashamed, which would always be where I would go if I felt my face turn red. Maybe I am not ashamed, I am just shy. I tell her that I am noticing how uncomfortable it is for me to be vulnerable.
I tell her that my homework has changed recently from “feel this” and “notice that”, which is to say, feel into the place from the dream where I touch upon a true feeling, (pain, vulnerability, fear, love) and notice when I jump away from these feeling through all manner of distractions (anger, blame, chattiness, compulsiveness, shame), to “working my cut”. Working my cut is a shift from “feel this” and “notice that” to: notice when I am in the spin, which in my current work is chattiness or aloofness, and bring the feeling of the shy vulnerable girl into my outer world reality. It may seem a small shift, but it is a huge difference. I can remember to do my homework at any given time, once an hour, 6 times a day or whatever, but when I am in the spin it is hard to bring it in. So, the end result is I do the homework less. Crazy, right? But what I have realized is that I do often notice the spin, but there is a real place of NO in me, a refusal to let go of the emotion I am attached to in the moment. I don’t want to stop being angry or chatty or down or ashamed. Somebody really did do me wrong. I am justified in my anger or hurt. Bravado has kept me safe. What happens when I let go? Then what? It is hard to let go of ME, the ME that I have built up over a life time. The ME that copes, deals and gets by. It is the fear that I must cut through, the fear of the vulnerability of standing naked, of being exposed.
It is hard to admit that it is a choice. It doesn’t “feel” like a choice when I am in the middle of an upset. Working the cut for me is a different way of doing the work and much harder in my opinion because it requires rigorous honesty, absolute commitment and a willingness to be in God’s will not mine. It requires a choice right in my most difficult moments.