It’s Through The Cracks That The Light Gets In.

Via Kelli Prieur
on Mar 6, 2013
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I’ve worn many a mask in my time, sported a few veils, and hidden behind home-made shields of armour, trying to be who I thought I should be, rather than accepting myself for who I was.

I pushed back the emptiness, the sadness, the loneliness, the fear I felt about almost everything and hid out behind my happy face, trying to be who everyone expected me to be—grateful, happy, easy-going, full—but in the process, I denied myself and judged myself worse than I’ve ever judged another.

I hated what was going on behind my eyes; I despised the anxiety that was ruling my life, invading my stomach and poisoning me from the inside out.

I couldn’t understand how to fix it, how to escape it, how to move through something that I couldn’t even stand to sit with…so I didn’t.

I soldiered on through the feelings of not being enough, of being different, of feeling alone and misunderstood, of not being understood at all—and I did my best to sew myself up at the seams with smiles and socialization, with nights out trying to drink and dance my sadness away. But nothing worked…it only got worse.

What you repress only runs at you faster. What you bury in the darkness only keeps resurfacing up into the light.

But I was persistent. I shoved down the butterflies having a conniption fit in my chest, swallowed down my brokenness and kept on pushing through. I went to university and studied anyways. I partied, and studied, and partied and cried and fell apart and graduated on the Dean’s list with a major in Biology—and a major anxiety problem.

I pretended I wasn’t unraveling; I put on a brave front and acted strong. I pretended to be happy—and I fooled everyone, except myself.

I traveled and fell apart; became a teacher and pieced myself back together. And fell apart again. And again.

I’m still falling sometimes.

Still pouring out, still unraveling. But I’m getting better at letting my guard down and letting people in. I’m getting more comfortable with the fact that I’m not the perfect yoga teacher, or partner or mother.

I’m admitting that I’ve played a million roles and lived at least five different lives in just this one, landing me here—in my skin—a blend of who I was and who it is I’m becoming.

I’m not perfect yet (cat’s already out of the bag) and I’ve lost the energy—and the desire—to pretend to be anything that I’m not anymore.

I learned a long time ago that pretending that everything was perfect when it wasn’t wouldn’t serve me.

That acting as though my partner and I never have arguments, that every class I teach is amazing, or that I never swear or lose my shit (or get annoyed, or fall apart, or do something that I regret) would not make me a more desirable friend, teacher or mother.

I learned that hiding behind illusions of happiness and fullness didn’t make the sadness go away; that the glossiness of smiles and the facade of ‘knowing’ about life, didn’t smooth over the sharp edges of my depression and emptiness.

It didn’t die down or go away. The more I pretended I was okay, the less okay I was. I watched, heart broken, as the gaps and gaping holes in my heart started to take me over.

I had inadvertently alienated myself in my quest to appear happy like everyone else; I thought I was connecting through becoming a version of myself that could compare with the ones I saw of others in their Facebook happy snaps, but in reality, I was only disconnecting myself more and more and more.

No one knew what I really felt, no one knew how broken I really was, and consequently, no one knew I needed help, compassion, love or understanding—so I didn’t get any.

I know how terrifying it is to reach out or open up because of the fear of judgement, the fear of being abandoned when the illusion of perfection shatters, but how can anyone connect to you, how can anyone help, when you refuse to let them in? How can anyone accept you when you can not even accept yourself?

As Dr. Steve Maraboli said: “When I accept myself, I am freed from the burden of needing you to accept me.”

True dat’.

We have the chance to bond over the imperfectness, to connect over the challenges, tug at each others heart strings with accounts of honesty and feelings of not being enough.

As much as we convince ourselves otherwise, we don’t connect or love over a white lie about how perfect motherhood is, how birthing was painless, or how you never swear in front of your child. Not over how much you know, what an amazing yogi you are, or how you never say anything bad about anyone ever.

You don’t make friends or fall in love by putting yourself on a pedestal of perfection.

Everyone slips up. Everyone has a hard time, sometimes. A bad day at work, an uninspiring class, a moment of selfishness, ungratefulness or of projecting blame.

Everyone has moments of being blind. Limited.

No one is perfect all the time.

So maybe, just maybe, it’s time now to stop pretending, time to drop the mask, to break through the armour, to knock down the walls we’ve built up around our hearts, so that we can really start connecting, really start accepting and moving through our darkest spots to get to our brightest.

I think so.

After all, as Leonard Cohen said, it’s through the cracks that the light gets in…


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Ed: Bryonie Wise




About Kelli Prieur

Kelli Prieur is a mother, a teacher, a writer and a retreat facilitator, running her business, Kelli’s Heart Glow Yoga Retreats, internationally as well as locally, throughout Australia. She’s spent the last two years welcoming in her deepest and most profound of teacher yet, her daughter, little Miss Ayanna Raine Desenberg. The past twenty-four months have brimmed and boiled with love, overflowed with growth and have torn at the seams with challenges. There have been endless opportunities for growth and expansion, for faith and surrender, for finding softness, and for finding strength. It’s been a life-changing, eye-opening, awe-inspiring experience, so she’s been writing about it, about life, about what she’s practicing, what she’s loving and loathing, what’s breaking her down and carrying her though. She writes about all the splendor and the simplicity. Just life. And a lot of it on her blog. She teaches yoga classes as offerings and reminders that you can be happy, and feel full, and satisfied, and light. You can find her classes packed full of gems of shiny challenges and pearls of deep breathing and dramatic transformation, Monday nights and Wednesday mornings at Preshana Yoga in Sydney, Australia; at a Soul Steps event she and her partner, DJ Kid Kenobi, collaborate on, creating a 3 hour musically- infused journey into the heart through deep twists, deep heart-openers, and deep forward folds; or at one of her Heart Glow Yoga Retreats—next hit of tropical transformation is this Oct. 25-Nov. 2 in Maui, Hawaii!!! For more on Kelli, visit her website:, her blog:, or her FaceBook page:


13 Responses to “It’s Through The Cracks That The Light Gets In.”

  1. Kelli, this really resonated with me this morning. Thank you!

  2. Anne says:

    This is beautifully written. I have struggled along the same lines and have only just begun to open through my writing It's challenging and I hold my breath each time I hit the submit button because it reveals a bit more about me that I've kept hidden for so long. Thank you for being so brave as to reveal yourself in this way.

  3. kelli says:

    Thank you for the beautiful feedback Kate and Anne!!! Hearing that it resonated with you completely reinforces my bravery in sharing my story to help give others the courage to do the same! XX

  4. Fyona says:

    Kelli, thankyou for sharing your precious heart.
    The day that I was told that we had to liquidate my business and declare myself bankrupt was (to me) like being told to stop resuscitating my baby. The business defined me – the funky office, the cool car, the long lunches, the meetings with ‘gorgeous’ people. I fell into the lowest form of myself that I had ever experienced. There was nothing but silence and failure and resentment. My husband told me he wasn’t sure if he could ever forgive me. What was I worth to anyone?
    I was a joke.It had to end. I researched the lethal dose for my migraine pills and sent my daughter to her grandparents for the weekend. I changed the sheets, cleaned the house and prepared myself for peace.I still remember it like yesterday, I was literally about to turn my phone off and swallow the drugs when the phone rang – it was my daughter Ruby. I answered in a clipped tone thinking it was her father. Ruby didn’t react, she simply said to me, “Mummy, I had to ring because I had a yucky feeling like you’d left me. I’m scared without you. Please can you come and get me.” My baby saved my life. I look back now and see how I’ve fought every day to live and it was worth it.

  5. kelli says:

    Fyona your post, your honesty, just made me cry- holly shit that is so so so so full on, my heart goes out to you again and again and again for having been in that type of pain, and I am SO happy that your daughter Ruby called you in that moment- your strength and your fight will have changed her whole entire life. LOVE to you for sharing this, LOVE to you for fighting for yourself, and LOVE to you for being courageous enough to continue on, I know it is often fay from easy. If you ever, ever feel like this again, please, please, reach out XXXXXXXXXXX

  6. […] read this gorgeous post on Elephant Journal by Kelli Prieur last night and it resonated with me, so I thought I would […]

  7. Michele says:

    I actually read this the other night. It really hit home with me. need to rework alot. Well written! Thank you for laying it out like that!

  8. Beautifully written. As someone who spent many years trying to something I thought the world expected… I can totally relate. Thanks for writing this, Kelli.

  9. Muks says:

    This is one of the best pieces I have read here. Thank you.

  10. Amanda Ibey says:


    Thank you for sharing your journey! It takes courage, honesty, strength, and faith to open oneself, and you've done it in the most beautiful, heartfelt way possible. Bravo! There are so many pieces within your story that I loved. Perhaps most was the message of acceptance – acceptance of where and who you are in a moment. Because that's life. A series of moments, a collection of experiences, meant to be felt, meant to be lived fully. No one said every moment would be easy, painless or joyful. And guess what? That's okay.

    There's no need to pretend anything in this world – all you have to do, is be you, and only you know who that is. Only you know, can speak, and act your truth. So thank you for doing just that. Thank you for sharing your inner light with us ~ for as you continue to remove that rubble from around your heart, the light doesn't just flow into you, it flows out of you. And the person you were born to be, the light and love that is always present within you, is simply given room to shine.

    May you continue to find peace and compassion within your journey ~ xoxo

  11. Kim says:

    Thanks for this, Kelli! I, too, have been on this journey of letting go of the masks, letting go of the pretending, and just showing up as my full, authentic self. What a relief, and what a surprise to find that my relationships deepened, many new and more genuine friendships have been forged, and that empowerment and vitality are taking the space formerly occupied by anxiety and fear. Rock on!

  12. Kelli says:

    Michelle, Lynn, Muks, Amanda and Kim, THANK YOU SO MUCH for the beautiful feedback- thank you, thank you, thank you XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

  13. B says:

    This was the most accurate portrayal of my life I have ever read. I am only 22 and battling anxiety and depression for this very reason. I have a long way to go but it’s so comforting to know I am not alone. Thank you