At the end of every practice with one of my all-time favorite yoga instructors Katie Schiffgen, just as we are about to take shavasana (or final resting pose), she reads aloud a passage or quote to the class. She invites you to think about the words and consider how they might hold truth for you in that moment of life. There have been many times that she will read a passage and I will get this wave of tingles down my body. They say this is a spiritual sign of something being true, and your spirit – your foundational core – recognizes that truth and manifests it with a physical shimmering sensation. This quote was one of them for me.
“Healing takes courage.”
I feel as though I have been on the blazing frontline of this exact quote for the past several months. Ironically, not for me personally, but for someone else. Their old life had, and continues to, hold an iron grip on the present moment. So much so, that it hinders healing and is the poison that sickens and suffocates relationships around them. It’s a familiar face that we all know to some degree.
“When we live with something for so long,
it becomes our identity.”
At some point, I believe the decision has to be made to fight that iron grip of our old identity and past self. This idea scares people, because it means facing yourself and doing things you’ve never done before. It means putting in the work day after day, week after week. It means seeking help and leaning on those close to you. It means being vulnerable to become stronger.
This requires a radical shift in attitude and determination. It requires sacrifice. It requires that you make a change, rather than defaulting back to that identity of comfortability.
No one said it would be easy though, because it won’t be. There will be days that your old self will longingly reach out and say, “You’re trying too hard. You can’t do this. You don’t deserve anything better. Come back to what’s easy. Come on back to the life you’ve been living and know so well.”
It will reach out in your weak moments. It will reach out when you’re overwhelmed and trapped in your own mind. It will wait patiently until you feel like all of your progressive work is a waste of time. That’s the precise moment when your old life lightly taps you on the shoulder.
No, my friends, it won’t be easy.
But what is guaranteed is that it will be worth it.
“We will come to remember that we are and always have been lovable, scars and all.”
Imagine living and enjoying a fulfilling life free from the cage of the past that held you back. Imagine relationships that not only begin again but thrive and flourish. Imagine being able to look forward to the day with hope and optimism. Imagine feeling uplifted and encouraged rather than bound by the chains of a former self. Imagine how healthy you will feel emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and even physically.
There is more at stake here than anyone will give credit for. The fact of the matter is, we severely neglect our mental and emotional well-being. We blow it off thinking that time will fix it or buying more useless shit will cure the internal ache of a wounded soul.
Maybe it’s time to commit to better habits and routines. Maybe it’s time to begin or renew a hobby or passion of yours that brings you great joy. Maybe it’s reconnecting with a long lost friend or mending broken ties with a family member. It’s about investing in yourself on a spiritual level, not a physical one.
Maybe it’s about finally considering seeking professional help, either a therapist, a life coach, or something similar. Or even starting something like yoga or meditation to master your own mentality. It bothers me to no end when people brush these things off. “I don’t need a therapist or professional help. They will tell me what I already know. They won’t help. Yoga and mediation is for hippies. I’m fine and I’ll figure it out on my own.”
Firstly, that way of thinking is born from a closed-minded mentality. That is your old self resisting change and convincing you that these incredibly powerful resources cannot help you. Secondly, yes they might tell you things you already know. But what if they give you something new; a tiny gem of insight or advice that shifts the entire course of your journey for the better. Wouldn’t the price of admission be worth it then? Even if you don’t jive with one, find another. There are thousands of people in this world willing and waiting to help you, and I promise that one of them will be exactly what you need. You do not know everything, and you do not always have the correct answers. The moment you accept this truth is the moment you begin fighting that iron grip.
Healing takes courage. It requires releasing ourselves from the identity of our traumas in pursuit of a life greater than the one we are currently living. It will take time; be persistent and do not give up. There will undoubtedly be tough days ahead, but the reward of finally experiencing freedom to write a brand new story is absolutely worth it. You will come to find love, both with self and in others. You will come to see that the shattered and broken pieces of You actually create a fucking masterpiece. You will see that you are more grand and more magnificent than what your past life has led you to believe.
There is a new life waiting for you, one free from that which holds you back.
It’s entirely up to you on how badly you want it.