"The way of peace is the way of truth. Truthfulness is even more important than peacefulness." - Gandhi
This isn't an easy story to tell. It may not be a story that will make you happy or feel joyous. It is simply a story that I need to tell.
It was a Thursday. I had just taken a marvelous Deep Hot Stretch class with Tracy in Maple Shade. I felt so relaxed and at ease, all tension released on the mat. I hopped in my car ready to take on the day, reveling in the warmth of my body.
I made a right turn out of the studio, heading my usual route to Medford. As I was listening to a True Crime podcast, my heart rate already a little elevated from the story line, I was jarred by a crash into the right side of my car.
Stunned, I looked into my rearview mirror only to see a woman hysterical on the left side of the road, hovering over what looked to be an animal. A thousand thoughts raced through my mind in one instant - the most glaring: "I think I just killed something."
I threw my car in park in the middle of the road, put my hazards on, and ran over to them - panicking and afraid to know the truth of what happened.
As I got closer I saw the dog lying in the grass and my whole world came crashing down on me. How was I going to live with the fact that I just hurt or killed this animal? After a moment - which was an eternity - the doggie started to move, walk and actually came over and sat in my lap, allowing me the sweetest moment to give him pets. I felt it was a nonverbal soul communication. We both knew we needed comfort from that traumatic experience and so we joined together.
After 10 minutes on the side of the road, giving lots of snuggles & kisses, hearing cars blaring at my car precariously parked in the road, the owner of the dog said they were fine - not to worry - and that she was going to go into the house now.
In a split second my mind questioned a thousand things again.
Should I give her my number? What if she tries to take advantage of me? Was this my fault? She said she was sorry - her dog was off the leash & across the street where they shouldn't be. Can I get sued? Will the dog be OK? Will she take them to the vet? How will I know any of this if I don't give her my contact?
And then....I left. She didn't ask so I didn't offer. Unfinished business flittering around like a pinball in my mind. The worries still hanging over my head. True - the dog was off the leash. It had ran to the other side of the road. The dog ran out from in front of a parked car so I did not even see it coming until I heard and felt the experience of it all. But still. I had played a role in this and I couldn't bear the thought of not knowing.
I wanted to leave a card, some peanut butter, some treats and my phone number to heal this wound of guilt on my heart. But I had fears. Insurance. Legality. Vet bills. I don't know this family. What if they try to take advantage of me? After a week of worrying I called my mom for advice (thanks Mom!) She suggested filing a police report, to have this documented and to ask for their guidance on the situation.
I filed the report. But I never went to the house. Why? Because fucking life got in the way, of course! Other worries and anxieties filled the space instead and before I knew it I was swept away on another tangent of uneasiness.
I lived in fear most of the month due to miscommunication & refraining from using my voice in many of my interpersonal relationships, except with Jonny. I struggled with my anxiety like I would back where I was years ago. I could see it all unfolding in front of me like I was watching a movie and yet I did nothing to stop it.
August has been a month of wild emotions. I reverted back to my old patterns - addiction to my anxiety and self-loathing thoughts. Refusal to ask for help from anyone but Jon; refusal to ask for connection; refusal to do the work.
This all started from one moment. Me not acting in my truth. Me not upholding my values & morals in a split second decision that broke a seam within my psyche. This is not far off from the me of years past. I used to never stand in my power. I felt and acted small. I was afraid to voice my opinions, my fears, my viewpoint. And I saw myself doing all of this - again. Building up over each day that passed.
I practiced yielding to my emotions - allowing the anxiety to flow in without any effort to curb it. I am happy I let myself feel this month as it provided me with many lessons on how I act when I feel overwhelmed, neglected, ashamed & guilty. And I saw what can happen when I do not live from my truth - it eats me alive.
To be fair, I was never good at opening up. I was always secretive. Holding my hard truths inside me so as not to burden anyone else around me. Partly because I did not want to hear those truths leave the protected home of my mind.
Looking at ourselves is not easy.
The yogic path is not easy. It means I see myself clearer when I am acting out my karmic patterns. But there had to be a point where I said fuck this! Enough is enough girl!
I met with my mentor and she could visibly see all of these things that I was carrying around. She felt I was holding on to my anxiety and to reflect on what it was feeding. She was right...It was feeding something alright..
I became addicted to my anxiety this month. Once fear lives inside me it spreads like wildfire and somehow it feels like more energy to heal than to let the flames burn me alive. But ultimately, I have a choice. Where does my anxiety stem from and what is it feeding? Where can I go from there?
I've learned much quicker this time than in years past when it's time to say ENOUGH. When it's time to make the switch. When it's time to identify that I'm no longer yielding - I'm wallowing. When it's time to stop wallowing and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! When its time to start telling the truth, seeing the truth and experiencing the truth - even when it hurts.
I had to clear. Sit down with those I needed to. To express the hard truths, the fears I was living with, to connect & heal.
And yes- I've learned how to yield. How to let these emotions flow in and flow out without needing to fix it right away. But...then what? Stay an anxious mess & drive myself crazy?