Anais Nin expresses the experience beautifully, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Dr. Susan M. Johnson, Hold Me Tight, 153.) Maybe! And an obvious question: What do these words have to do with anything?

The simple answer: Take off the presented Self mask, the culturally created, fear bound, in the bud, “should be,” and simply blossom by being authentic, open, honest, and vulnerable. Let’s peek at recent headlines.

Ukraine-Russia War, Israeli-Hamas War, fraud, daily polarized, hatred circus of unfolding 2024 Presidential Election, voter suppression, corruption, violence, and deconstruction of federal court system. A helicopter view offers that the least common denominator is emotional sickness from an overwhelming dose of “Demon Dialogues” (“separation distress,” relationship storms, love starvation) (Dr. Susan M. Johnson, Hold Me Tight, 45, 48) Quite simply, we have lost sight of the fact that the need for love is in the human genes and is not about bargains, reasoning, and deals about profit and loss. It is sane, conscious, emotional responses and mutually satisfying experiences in a partnership. The perception is that one becomes so addicted to the Demon Dialogue loop, pattern, habit, that it becomes impossible to see the forest for the trees, be vulnerable, open, honest, and simply share our human love needs, just blossom as life was meant to be.

Several years ago, it was a great deal of fun to create a blossoming lotus tattoo for the back of the right hand. The inspiration was a shared legend about 10,000-year-old lotus flower seeds. They shelter and lie dormant at the bottom of the swamp, eventually begin to geminate, grow through the thick and thin muck of the swamp, and eventually emerge and blossom for the world to see and admire, sparking beauty. Yes, simply modeling the gift of human life unless for some reason one becomes derailed, distracted, confused, culturally groomed, brainwashed, addicted to cell phone social media, and unable to blossom. I call it stuck in the swamp’s misery loop.

On the heels of six months of energy psychology, deep inner digging work with an energy psychology coach, it has been humbling and awakening to evolve to the work of Dr. Susan M. Johnson (Attachment Theory in Practice). Her work offers that our journey is inside out as opposed to the culture dictates of outside in. The inside out journey is to have conscious experience of the dance of emotion (anger, fear, attachment, egotistical pride, jealousy, envy, shame, shock, etc.) and attachment style to “music,” 1) targeting for a shift of emotional music to decrease the “Demon Dialogues” and simply be open, honest, and vulnerable and love the Self and one’s chosen partners in life; and 2) confronting perceived attachment style threats to unfold love for the Self and chosen partners. The goal is to have the music, the dance, and the dancers become one, just cannot tell the dance from the dancers. As Anais Nin offers, “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (Dr. Susan M. Johnson, Hold Me Tight, 153.) We just need to move through the swamp, wake up, look around, take a helicopter ride, and look around. Peace-of -mind and a foundation of compassion for purpose and connections are a few deep breaths away. Eventually, the compassion scab comes off and we become one with the suffering of others. Quality, common good, authenticity, and virtue can certainly become a blossoming way of life. Staying in the bud is not a fun, joyful way to live this wonderful gift of life. Stressful, too…and the body keeps the score. And boy is it ever difficult to be open, honest, vulnerable, and bare the soul.


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