Saturday, September 14, 2013

Loving me is my job

I study Yoga because I know that in the end, I am the one who is ultimately responsible for my experience of life. I may not be responsible for the storms of life, but ultimately I get to choose how I perceive those things. And how I act as a result of them. Yoga gives me a mirror to see the reflections of my mind. In the stillness of a pose, or the the quiet of sitting in meditation, the movement of thoughts; the direction thoughts go, tells me about my real fears, beliefs and desires.

I recently have been very engaged in watching the unfolding story of Reatah Parsons. I can relate to that young woman. I was raped by a boy I knew. And it did not just happen once, it happened repeatedly. I can choose to see myself as the victim or worse as the person who should have prevented it, blaming myself for not somehow stopping it. I did that for years. And I was very close to being hospitalized for an eating disorder because of it.

I am now no where close to that tender teenage time of life. I can see how the way I thought about the events that unfolded then are still with me in the many little betrayals I experience now. One part of me defending myself and the other feeling so shamed and weak, at fault. The truth is both perspectives are true. I only want the one where I was good and valued to be the one that is true. But I know that it is not; in every relationship people come to it with their own life experience, fears and desires. Someone elses' choices are only partly about me. "Ahhh," I think, "but if only I was good enough or better." And that is the thought that has almost killed me.

It is hard to change these repeated thoughts. And that is not necessarily the point of Yoga. The point is to be able to remain steady and not confused by these thoughts. It is to recognize them as just thoughts, not truths. They only become "true" when I give them value. Hopefully, if I do practice, I can hold the thoughts away from my heart and see them as thoughts. I can then act from a place that is true to my heart.

Our power exists not in proving we are right or good enough, or worthy of love.

True power exists when we can let others think all the bad things they want and treat us poorly and we still know in our hearts we are worthy of love.

Do me a favor, just work with the thought that you are worthy. Write it 100 times and see if you resist it, or what thoughts stop you when you are writing and write those too. Then you will know where you really stand with yourself. Because in the end we will all die alone. And we will need the power of our own love to walk that path.

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