Heartache and Self-Discovery
I'm terrified of practicing yoga again.
I dabble at home, a few poses here and there, but I have been seriously avoiding attending a class since the death in our family. I know now that I'm afraid of what I might feel. I risk a colossal breakdown in public, at my workplace, in front of strong yogis that know me and will continue to see me at the studio afterwards.
I call them strong, as if I'm not, but I at least know better than that. I know I am capable of being just as brave and determined as anyone else, but right now being strong means learning to let go in so many ways, like letting go of what others may think of me sobbing in pigeon pose.
But now that I've realized I've been avoiding yoga for everything it will bring to the surface, I know I have no good reason not to go anymore. I've been pressuring myself to get back to class several times a week, get back to eating just veggies and other whole foods, and bring back to life the positive motivator I used to feel like inside.
But now just the thought of being such a sappy, optimistic human makes me want to vomit.
His death woke me up in a way.
So many things I've buried instead of purging and releasing from the grip of grief have begun rattling free inside of me. Long-forgotten memories keep springing to the foreground, and with them have come impulsive decisions to relieve the emptiness of actions I should have taken long ago.
Every day lately I wake up feeling like a different person, but every day feels exactly the same. So many hasty actions are slurring together with my desperate attempts to feel relief from heartache. I feel it rip at me until I'm split into a hundred insecure, worthless pieces of some sad creature that never got their shit together.
I'm finally facing events I should have been dealing with long ago, but certain relationships I've lost in the meantime seem irreparable. I knew when I was pushing people away that everything may change some day, my extreme and unreasonable discomfort may fade as I learn to break myself open relentlessly, and this came to fruition as I feared. Just because it's my turn to be vulnerable, doesn't mean others are ready to forgive me for the hard shell I hid behind before I began to see more clearly.
I feel like I am finally on a path to discovering who I am. One could argue that I have been doing that since I began practicing yoga, or since I graduated high school, or forever, but I finally feel it now. I feel it now because in so many ways this is rock bottom, where I've been stripped of everything that's been hiding my true self so that I can learn what pieces I want to start building with again.
I've removed my dreads and chopped off my hair. I've let myself shop for clothes that actually fit me and aren't all black or grey. I want to feel worthy of taking up space as a real human being. I want so badly to authentically express the creature I feel like on the inside that I am trying everything I know, but still I don't even feel close.
I keep telling myself I need to meditate, but in the heat of so many emotional moments, I forget entirely. The times I do think to sit with myself and heal, I stall, find excuses, and start and end another day no closer to figuring out what I want than before.
For a while I thought I had everything sorted out, but my foundation feels so shaky now. I am realizing I've regressed and can't differentiate my own sorrows from the turmoil of others anymore. Am I feeling my own grief? Or my family's? Am I suddenly entirely out of control? Or am I again unknowingly carrying the weight of the neighborhood?
My anxiety is covering up my clarity like a thick, deceptive blanket. I feel lost to everything I thought I knew.
Going through such a significant transition is driving me mad with anxious questions. Why are all of these old pieces of me flooding back in? I feel so different now, but who have I been the past year if not my true self? Am I backtracking into some obsolete version of the being I've worked so hard to uncover? Maybe I haven't been my authentic self after all, but maybe I am finally in the midst of learning who I am.
I don't want to define myself by my mistakes any longer, but I feel so trapped by them. I don't want the tragedy of inevitable death to keep consuming my thoughts, but I don't know what to replace them with. I want to fight for my chance at happiness no matter how many times it takes me to get it right, but I don't feel like I even know where to start.
Still, I look forward to the moment my heart swells with unrecognizable love, my vocal chords burst into joyous melody, and my eyes tear up at the overwhelming bliss I've finally found.
I can't remember the last time I felt truly at peace, but I don't pretend to believe this feeling is impossible. I know my happiness is waiting for me, patiently hovering while I learn to let go of heartache, fear, and expectations, and to discover the extraordinary life I'm meant for.