This is a story about how I loved the world so much that it broke me.
And how I eventually came to love it again.
For most of my life I was just the happiest little thing. I always had so much love to give. I gave it often and without pause. I had a close relationship with myself, fostered through my journaling. My time with my journal was where I went to find my own happiness. It was the place where I didn’t have to think about anyone else. Where I could find time to understand my own wants and needs.
Still, there was something about being so loving, and how everyone was so complimentary of it, that became addicting. Somewhere along the line I began to rest my happiness in the happiness of others. My personal worth got wrapped up in being this smiling, giving person. If I wasn’t that, then what was I? What was my value?
Breakup (Healing Journey Part I)
As I got older, got a job, and a boyfriend - my time with my journal disappeared. The teaching profession, my relationship - there was so much to give and give and give and I didn’t know how to stop giving. So I gave everything to the world and the world took it all, and never stopped taking. Even when my body started to shut down from panic. As my body revolted, I searched for ways to find relief. I became one person on stage, then a completely different person off stage. Much damage was done as I tried to reconcile these two parts of me, until these two sides could not exist together. The process was messy and confusing. I hated the world for taking so much from me. I hated myself for giving so much to it. The anger began to multiply and take over my whole body.
And then, there was yoga…
By the time I walked into the CorePower Yoga on Comm Ave I was light as a feather. Anxiety ripping through my body; dead behind the eyes. In the two years that followed, the practice of yoga became my saving grace. The movements, the philosophy, the community of good people. I began to see the world differently; to understand that we’re all a little bit like each other, for better and for worse. I began to share my story through social media. Through that I saw that I wasn’t so different from everyone. That while I had been hating on “the world”, there were so many people willing to be there for me; so many people who were feeling just like me. When the Pandemic hit and we were forced into our homes, I was able to craft my own yoga message. That message was: you belong, you can do yoga, you can heal, movement is medicine, and so much more. People started showing up in the name of that message, and that’s how Journey Forward Yoga was born.
From the safety of my home, I was starting to be in love with the world again.
Breakup (Healing Journey Part II)
Even after all my work, the anger was still stirring inside. Anger is a fierce thing, it holds on and won’t let go. My anger still told me that the world was conspiring against me. When you’re living in that constant state of conspiracy theory, even moments that are truthfully not, become a feeling of danger. I had done SO MUCH work at that point, and yoga had brought me love, upon love, upon love. Yet I still needed to do more. And so I broke up with the world again. I took a whole year away from it.
There was something about that time of rest that was such a watershed of recovery. The first huge recovery moment was the realization that I didn’t ever deserve to be treated, by anyone, in any way other than - with respect. This may sound obvious, but it wasn’t obvious for me. This was the first time that I understood the idea of WORTH. That you are worthy just by being, and that you don’t have to give to get worth. Worth just IS. The second was when I realized that I could unsubscribe from things that were making me feel like sh*t. Storylines that were tired, I didn’t need them anymore (let go). The third was a super powerful moment where I realized that I was co-creating my misery and that I needed to start doing things to protect myself (this is the moment I was first able to fully connect with my inner child).
By the time I returned to Massachusetts, I was feeling worthy and focused - yet skeptical. My first day here I went for a walk on the trail. There were so many people around, but I never felt more lonely. Why did I choose to come here? Was this the right choice? Why can’t I just go back into hiding?
But with all the knowledge I now had about life, I couldn’t allow myself to just stay in a safe cocoon. I knew I had to reach out, I had to get out.
In many cases I didn’t even have to initiate, I just had to say YES. I just had to SHOW UP. That is a major benefit of being so open and vulnerable. My people knew what I needed because I (grew into) sharing my story with others.
Today is actually the day I consider as my one year anniversary of rejoining the world in person. It’s the day I said YES and SHOWED UP to a group event. My mind buzzed with the “what if they don’t accept you? What if you feel left out again, what if you get hurt again?” and all the other kinds of things the mind likes to say before you’re about to do something really brave. Because I said YES, and did it even though I was uncomfortable, I added another yoga village to my life.
I now have my online yoga village and my in-person yoga village. Both fill me up in different ways, and both have helped me fall in love with the world again.
Thank YOU for the role you have played.
Doing what you know is right for you, even when it’s uncomfortable.
Wrestling with your demons and coming out on top.
The villages that fill you up.
The ups and downs of life, and finding the lesson in them.
All the times you have been brave in ways people will never know (unless you choose to write a blog about it).
Namaste (I see you the light in you),