Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Let It Be
Yesterday during lecture, one of my teachers suggested that most people tend to run away from physical and emotional pain without any questions - the moment it comes into view we immediately begin to look for a detour. He encouraged us to avoid stretching so far into the discomfort that we injure ourselves, but also to be careful not to collapse out of any posture as soon as the rainbows and butterflies disappear. He ended the lecture with, "Pain brings increased awareness."
His words took me back to my first yoga experience in my second year of community college. I was trying to fold down and away from life in the same way that I drop out of downward facing dog when my arms are tired - my diagnosis of melanoma cancer was still sinking in, and even though surgery had been successful, I was facing a long stretch of chemotherapy. I was grateful that it hadn't spread and the phrase "six months left" had been taken off the table, but I was still scared and sad with constant thoughts of the next few weeks or years. My nurse advised anti-depressants, but I decided to enroll in a yoga class instead. Over the next few weeks, it became the only hour in the day where I could find refuge from the storm in my head.
All of the pain from that place in my life increased my awareness in my life, my faith, and my relationships. Sometimes it has to become dark before appreciation for the light appears.
"And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me, shine until tomorrow, let it be."