In my previous blog, I was talking about letting go. It seems to be a major theme in my life.
When I recently started a new business, I was upset that what was appearing before me was not what I had expected. But then I had a realization -- I was doing what I loved with people I felt connected to. Letting go of my fear enabled me to focus on the happiness that had already manifested in my life.
Before I had this epiphany, I was experiencing “the near enemy.”
I learned about this concept while reading a novel, a “cozy mystery” by Louise Penny. In it, one of the characters talks about the near enemy, which is something undesirable that appears as something good. For example, attachment masquerades as love, callousness masquerades as equanimity, and pity impersonates compassion.
My experience of this was the near enemy of love, since attachment can look like love, but it is not.
Attachment is born of fear – whereas its opposite, connection, springs from love.
In dance, attachment is worrying about what it looks like rather than allowing the connection to freely express what arises organically from the music.
I can be afraid sometimes that my work is not good and that people won’t like it. That causes me to be attached to what I think people might like, which in turn restricts my movement options in choreography. If I listen to music in the spirit of love, I am connected to the music and the movement. I am experiencing love rather than fear. When I move from connection, I am offering something from within myself rather than giving something that doesn’t belong to me – something that resides outside of my connection.
Attachment feels like taking directions from outside yourself (along with a big load of anxiety). Connection is a feeling of being solid, grounded, and happy because it comes from within.
The trick is slowing down enough to identify what’s really motivating our actions.
When in doubt, I (try to) remember to ask myself, “How does this feel?” If it feels fraught with anxiety, I know I am on the wrong track and I have to back up and take a breath. I have to take a moment, breathe, find my connection and begin again.
Are we responding to attachment or connection? Love or fear? Are we expressing the near enemy?
We don’t have to fight the darkness; we merely have to turn on the light.
Acknowledging love and feeling connected unmasks the near enemy, causing it to fall away and allowing us to freely express our truth from within.
Photo by MaryEllen Hendricks