Have you ever felt trapped?
I think we all have. And when we feel trapped, fear takes hold and the victim that hides in all of us finds the shoes they cannot kick off.
Haven’t we all been victims of something, or someone at some point in time? Haven’t we all dreaded the daylight because of where we had to go or who we had to see? Haven’t we all stayed in that space that feels like a room with no corners, no doors, no windows and little light?
A long time ago, my hypnotherapist, who was my first experience with a healer, told me that even in the darkest space, there is always a light, and that light lives in the heart.
But sometimes that light gets wrapped in shadows that veil our fears as we grasp for something we cannot see because it’s too dark and we know in the deepest part of the heart that we’re right, or we know we are loved or loving; we know we have principles and integrity; we know we work hard.
What we may not have learned is life is not fair; oftentimes the people around us don’t care or they don’t know how to care. Why? Because they don’t know their self and they don’t love who they are.
When children we are trapped by these people, but oftentimes even as adults, those in charge can entrap us with their authority as we try to balance that with our needs.
As I said tonight while teaching, we all grow older but many adults don’t grow up.
Hence we have children raising children and how confusing is that for a child, when the grown up acts like a child? But because the grown up is the adult, there is no contest as to who is right.
As adults, we learn, hopefully to listen to our own inner voice.
We may know change is the answer. But it’s scary. We know the partner we have keeps us company. We know the job may make us miserable but it is a job. It’s safer to stay with what we know.
But if we are miserable? Honestly, I believe we are meant to be joyful. Happiness is our natural state. Is it easy? Not always…
Does it mean we don’t have a range of emotions? No.
There is sadness. There is anger. There is grief. And we often feel caged by the roller coaster of feelings we either cannot feel, or if we do feel them, don’t quite know how be present with them.
Humans aren’t meant to hold onto emotions. We are built to feel them and let them go.
But when we’re grasping for something, that may not even be there, or when we’re held by a fixed thought that life would be better “if only I were married,” “if only I had kids,” “if only I did not have kids…” We put blinders on our vision and bars around our heart.
When we embrace a reality day in and day out that is eating our insides out, because it is what we know, we keep the doors out of sight and there’s no view.
Is there a paradox here? Yes.
We are miserable because of what we have, or we are miserable because of what we don’t have.
I am a firm believer in creating opportunity. I had the government job that I hated for seven years and no one understood how I could leave the security.
I had a relationship that was doomed from the start and I knew it, but it took me four years to find my way out.
I learned when I was nine years old that life is not fair.
I remember the night clearly. I got in trouble and my brother did not even though he acted out just as much as I did. And I knew there was nothing I could do or say. But I got it.
I learned in the Federal government rule number one in surviving is CYA.
I believe people are good.
I believe in things like hope and faith and love.
But I also know people lie and steal and cheat. It happens in churches. It happens in yoga studios. It happens with teachers. It happens with families. It happens.
I aim at happiness. I work with integrity.
I fail as much as anyone, but I keep my side of the street clean and I take responsibility when I mess up.
I knock on doors. I open windows. I quit jobs and get new ones.
I have been knocked down so many times I have learned there’s only one way up.
I could have been buried a long time ago but I refused to let life limit me. I refused to let others define me. I refused to let what I did become who I am when I hated what I did.
There are exceptional people everywhere: in yoga, in AA, in churches, in law firms, in the government.
And there is always a reason to blame someone or something else.
And there’s always a need to bring what we know closer to us so we don’t have to let go.
But we don’t always need a reason to let go.
We just need to loosen the grip, exhale and find faith in that heart that always holds a light, even in the darkest night.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel