The Threshold: Investigation

When we are willing to investigate, with loving attention, the difficult feelings that come up in relationship to others, our happiness or unhappiness is less conditioned by how others behave.

Narayan Liebenson Grady, “Questioning the Question”

In our community at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett, we call this the insight of  “inquiry” and we identify it with the movement of “curiosity.”  The author asks us to apply it to ourselves in particular in our relationships that are not happy, that are difficult.

Think of someone in your life with whom you have a difficult set of feelings, with whom you would say the relationship is strained.  This usually doesn’t take most of us very long.

Now, just sit with the image of the person for a while, and allow yourself to notice the feelings that form within you around that person.  Do not judge the feelings.  Allow them. When they arise, acknowledge them like a visitor who has come to sit with you for a while. Name them and welcome them in:  hello there, anger; come and sit with me a while. Greetings, fear; please sit with me here.  Good day, sadness; join me here for a while, will you?

When we invite our difficult feelings that are attached to a relationship to cross the threshold of our internal homes and sit with them for a while, passing no judgment, we begin to see and to understand what things we could not before.  And what are those things?  I cannot tell you what they are for you.  I can only practice this for myself.  That is the invitation.  Sit a while.  Invite the feelings.  Investigate.  No judgment.  Accept.  Let go. Grow.

Bob Patrick

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