You know you're waking up when you make dying a practice.
I mean dying in the sense that you allow the slings and arrows of outrageous rudeness that crop up daily in life, that snarky or stupid thing someone else says or does that hurts your feelings, to enter you. To let it in.
Stay with me here.
You know that feeling of having your feelings hurt? I feel it in my gut or heart and at times all up and down my torso. Sometimes I feel it in my throat. It's a kind of stinging, a sharp stab, a contraction, like I've been physically hit, almost.
This visceral sensation of having your feelings hurt will always illicit an immediate and strong reaction of defense in a normal, healthy human being — just like a snail withdraws its soft and probing body when touched by a curious finger.
But when someone or something hurts your feelings, know this: your ego/personality structure is showing itself to you. In every case. And it is your golden opportunity to do some good, hard, liberating work.
It is one of the most difficult and counter-intuitive things I've ever done (and done and done and still do) — to STOP and let my feelings be hurt. To stand and choose to feel the pain, and not shut down completely or strike back with the intent to kill or maim. And then to have the audacious courage to ask: "Is there any part of what this person is saying that is true? Even a teensy weensy bit? Is there something in this situation that I have done that has contributed to it? Even some very small, insignificant thing?" And to ask these questions, even in the face of the fact that the other person is probably indeed being a jerk.
Breaking the reaction to close up, defend, discount the other and to be dead honest with yourself, to allow the possibility there is some grain of truth hidden in the yuckiness, is a fool-proof practice of slowly but surely dying. And be assured, it absolutely feels like dying. Like a drowning person gasping for air, the impulse is always to fight like hell for your life.
But what if you stop fighting? What if you let your lungs fill with water and you don't resist?
Your identification with your ego or personality structure dies a bit every time you let the hurt in and then carefully examine it as objective data, like a scientist. And if you are dead honest with yourself, you will always find at least a speck of truth . . . because if there is no truth, (and therefore nothing to learn) you would not have a hurt feeling reaction in the first place.
At first it's quite challenging to stop and let it in right in the moment. Sometimes you have to walk away and do it in the safety of your own space. But like anything, with practice, you get better at it.. And if you notice, very subtly, there will be a space, a sense of freedom that opens up when you discover an uncomfortable truth about yourself and are willing to own it.
In this practice of dying daily, you will begin to slowly thin the shell of ego personality, and re-member a deeper reality of who you know yourself to be; that Essence or Consciousness that lies behind the personality structures. You will discover that allowing yourself to drown actually dispels an illusion that has kept you imprisoned for a very long time.