October 30, 2013

In My Love, My Salvation Lies. ~ Jenny Clevidence

I am starting to think that epiphanies only happen after I have twisted my body into various shapes, released about a gallon of sweat and laid completely wrung out on an eco-friendly rubber mat desperately wanting to run out the door for an ice cold green smoothie—er, iced coffee.

Then it happens.

The song comes on and it always has a message for me. How yoga teachers know exactly what song to play is beyond me, but this song hit right to the heart.

“Here is what I know now
Goes like this..
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, my salvation lies
In your love, in your love, in your love”

“Orange Sky” by Alexi Murdoch 

As the sound trickled into my ears and the words came together in my mind, there was one other place they lit up: my heart.

The days leading up to this particular one had been full of self-judgement, criticism and the smack in the face kind of clarity that I have a big gaping wound around betrayal.

I thought after years of self development and spiritual growth that I was “over” my previous relationships in which I had been cheated on. Maybe I was, but I learned that my heart’s betrayal went much deeper than cheating exes. I had a long history of feeling betrayed—from so-called friends who made fun of me when I was a young child to all the unintentional ways betrayal continues to show up in my life.

All of this had left me feeling not worthy of love. Feeling not worthy of love led me to stick around in relationships that were very clearly not loving, because I really wanted that person to love me.

Instead of trying to make things okay for myself lying on the floor of the studio, I let myself feel the years of betrayal and behind it was my own self hate, criticism and lack of self love. I had done a pretty good job of hiding these things away, but that song cracked me open. Suddenly the words began to shift and I heard them differently.

All my life, I had been looking for salvation in someone else’s love, like a stamp of approval from the outside world that I am worthy. In a puddle of sweat that morning, I heard those words as if I was singing them to myself. My salvation lies in my love.

You may be thinking, where has this girl been? There are millions of people who tell us this on a daily basis, years of research and ancient teachings about self love, but it seemed that somehow I had missed the boat.

Well, not really. I knew these things. They were very clear to me and made a lot of sense, but it really doesn’t help to just know something. It’s like knowing that eating a fried donut is bad for you but still doing it.

Knowing is just the first step. The true shift happens when we can embody what we know—and put it into practice in our lives. Usually this requires us to feel something at the heart level, to unlock the truth our hearts have been hiding and to allow our bodies to create a new way of being in the world.

My new way of being started with a lot of acts of self-love. Here are just a few of mine:

  • Resting when I’m tired versus pushing myself to do more.
  • Imagining the me that felt betrayed years ago, reaching out to her in my mind’s eye and giving her a big hug, followed by the words, I love you.
  • Acknowledging where I am with my work and life versus striving for the next milestone. (A good friend of mine says, “Live in the journey versus living for the milestones, because that is where love isn’t dependent on what you achieve, but who you are.” She is so right.)
  • Reaching out to friends and family when I needed support instead of keeping my pain to myself.

This is what I needed to really show myself some much needed love. Your acts of love might look different.

If you find yourself looking at your own gaping wound, ask yourself one question: What do you need to give yourself most?

My guess is that somewhere in the mix is love.


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Assistant Ed: Michelle Margaret/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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