I found this passage in The Path of Insight Meditation by Joseph Goldstein and Jack Kornfield and it very much resonated with how I’m feeling right now.  Yes, another thing that I used to do that is coming back alive in me now, vipassana meditation.  My meditation cushion is dusty and in the closet.  I may very well drag it out tonight and go and try to sit on the dock by the pond.

“If we keep avoiding the feeling of fear, then we have to build barriers and defenses, closing ourselves off from every experience where fear may arise.  Not only is this impossible to do, but it results in a narrow and restricted way of living.  We close our hearts and close off the possibility of compassion.”

And something else from the same book:

“One of the most difficult emotional states we experience is the feeling of insecurity, of being vulnerable.  What would it be like to be totally open?  We think that if others saw us as we know ourselves to be, we wouldn’t be loved or respected, that people would judge us harshly, that we’d lose all our friends.  The fear of being vulnerable causes us to construct a self-image that we present to the world, one that we hope it will accept and love.  We put that image out in front, while the dark, murky, unacceptable part of ourselves lurks behind.

When we investiage the fear of being judged, of not being accepted, we see that it does not have to do primarily with other people; instead, it has to do with our own unwillingness to experience certain of our feeings and emotions.  It is we who are judging ourselves, not accepting ourselves, not loving ourselves.”