When I was twelve, I stood at the edge of a bridge looking down into the water.
The bridge wasn’t very high, the water somewhat shallow. Thinking I would only break my leg, I walked away.
I battled death throughout most of adolescents. What would happen if I swerved my car from the road, dragged a blade across skin, found a way to let go? Deeper than a desire for escape was a longing to feel. I was numb from coping mechanisms I had created during my dad’s drinking days and all I wanted was connection.
With adulthood, the suicidal tendencies slipped away but self harm was left behind.
In yogic philosophy it is known as the Yama Ahimsa.
During my yoga training, twice I scalded my hand under the hot tea tap. “I keep doing that,” I muttered to a friend standing close by. An Ayurvedic student standing behind us, perked up and looking at me said, “Do you know you’re doing that on purpose?” She was right.
I was unconsciously but intentionally sending up the warning flairs of self harm to myself. My home life had been out of whack for a long while and because I wasn’t dealing with it the pain was coming out in smaller actions.
As I got quiet and started paying more attention. I began to see more and more how I was sitting in this cycle of self harm.
When I trip over my own feet, scald my hand under hot water because i’m not paying attention or leave the house without a jacket on a cold day, these are warning signs of an older cycle. They are a deeper cry for help.
I pay attention now, to this amazing warning and protection system I created in my youth.
When I am acting in contrast to my own beliefs or when I am suppressing deeper troubles, it is there to beautifully sweep in and remind me to slow down and proceed with love and patience.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Author: Melissa Tamura