It’s so easy to fall into a hollow canyon, surrounded by cliff walls, barely seeing sunlight in the depths and narrowness. A story exists. An experience happened. Our reactions are real, the scars smart if pressed. It’s easy to bind ourselves into one particular way of telling that story. I have a yearning for justice. I have always had a strong need for truth.
But, reality is that there rarely is justice, the past can’t be changed, and everyone has a different concept of truth. We create the world we want to see and so does everyone else. So what do we do? How do we live with hurt? How do we live with injustice?
Yogic philosophy would say all of that is just attachment to the unreal. Maya – illusion, ignorance, entangled, temporary. Justice is sorted out through karma. To remain in peace we must detach from our reactions to experiences and focus on the steady truth of the Self. Letting go of the expectation of another person being held responsible for, or even just owning their actions, is what can liberate us.
That letting go is extremely difficult, but must occur. There is no changing other people, only ourselves, only our own reactions and attachment to our reactions.
It’s hard to let go of the feeling that I am constantly the loser, the one controlled, the one who has to sacrifice while having to watch someone else be the winner, the controller, the one who does not have to sacrifice. It feels unjust, and finding the faith to believe so deeply in karma that I can let go of all my feelings is a challenge.
My mind understands what I need to do. I understand where my yoga practice needs to go. I know what will bring me peace. I know what reality is and isn’t. But getting my heart to release from the desire for truth and justice, responsibility, accountability, reckoning and freedom feels insurmountable. Yet, if I can’t do it, I will be buried. I cannot make any of that a reality in what isn’t really reality anyway.
So I need to rewrite my own story. Disconnect my story from anyone else’s, just live my own truth, live a just life accountable for my own actions, view myself alone, unaffected by the world around me.
I wouldn’t be the me I am right now without having gone through what I have gone through. I wouldn’t have encountered a greater understanding of people and how they react in sadness and rage. I wouldn’t have been given the gift of compassion through empathy. I wouldn’t have experienced a fuller aspect of life. I wouldn’t have been given the opportunity to scale a mountain, to sink so low I couldn’t see even one ray of the sun, to be stepped on and pushed down against my will, to lift myself up, and to be responsible for my own decisions. I own my choices and the consequences of those choices. One day I will be able to let go of it all – let go of the story – and exist only in truth and peace.
I won’t try to pull myself out of the canyon, I will try to disintegrate the walls.