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Dr Alessio Agostinis

Consultant Psychologist

Bearing witness to the power of suffering on honesty and dishonesty, greed and kindness, strength and weakness, care and trauma, pain and joy, authenticity and ego, health and illness. Seeing within suffering, love greater than one self, one label, one silo, one team, one family, one country, or even one species.

This year I have felt deeply humbled to encounter, witness, connect and deepen an intentional journey toward renegotiated love, intimacy, integrity and honesty. This is despite the death, trauma, fear and struggle of witnessing, being part, being the recipient and provider, being seen and unseen, being remembered and forgotten, being loved and rejected, being hated and appreciated, being judged and accepted, being opened, being closed...all together being awoken by a passing moment of truth, ever so often ignored.

Finding myself in a mysterious, yet enlightening place, of both entrapment and retreat: Momentarily pausing on everlasting, yet fleeting, moments of truth.

Imagine recognising a new version of you. Imagine seeing, not denying, not colluding, not distracting – fully committing to and seeing, even for a split second, the whole of the unseen, unsaid, avoided, ignored, dismissed or joked about...truth: the truth about occupation, relationships, friendships, routines, addictions, traumas and deceits, yours and those of others. All there, bare, staring at you; and you, whole, vulnerable, deeply wounded and yet deeply humbled, there... staring at them, staring at each other, FULLY: the raw, heavy, old and new, vivid,

hurtful, gut wrenching, visceral, heart clenching feelings, emotions and memories of your conditioning – ALL together, ALL at once, ALL in one. AWOKEN by and AWAKE to all of them. A bundle of energy.

And then, the usual urge to go back in hiding, in entrapment...into the oblivion of the ‘norm’.

And yet, quite amazingly, knowing the truth in these feelings and their value: deeply knowing hurt has meant deeply being present with others and the part of you and others, you ignored for so long. Seeing the depth of sorrow and in sorrow finding true love. Love for all beings, for the truth, for ethical behaviour, for your vulnerability, faults and those of others.

NOT the cheesy, Hollywood love; NOT the pleasing love. NOT the consumerist love. NOT the jealousy love. NOT the sacrifice love. NOT the grand-gestures phoney love that expects a return. NOT the love of family rules, marriage, contract, religion. NO. The love of seeing, in those fleeting moments, as many and all untruths in the lie of ‘normality’.

SIMPLY noticing the love in a moment of making a choice; witnessing YOUR choice of truth, honesty, integrity and vulnerability: in fear, sorrow, sadness and yet FULL openness. FULL truth. FULL renegotiation of WHAT and WHO matters. The deepest, most intimate, most connecting place to be – one and everyone.

The love of taking a chance regardless of all the rules: a sobering place of gratitude.