Allowing yourself to love and be loved makes life sweet.
This part of my story is on my mind today because I am in transition and will be leaving students that have been with me from a few months to 18 years…
When our country came under attack on 9/11, I did not allow myself to watch t.v. until that night because I had yoga classes all day. My responsibility to be grounded, present and loving for my students outweighed curiosity and any personal response on my part. In all of my classes I focused the practice on comforting our own hearts and minds and sending healing light and love to our brokenhearted country and to our world.
That night, when I returned home from my last class, I turned on the television for the first time. I sat down and watched the attacks. Once was enough. My mind wanted to shut down and refuse those images. My heart convulsed within my chest. My body began to wretch and I ran into the bathroom where I experienced a round of projectile vomiting. My entire being was trying to reject what I had just witnessed.
I returned to the living room ravaged and exhausted. I turned the television off and promised myself I would never take those images in again. And I have been true to that promise. As a yoga teacher, I was living a gentle and loving life. I felt so privileged and humbled by the love that I was experiencing every day. What had brought these people to a place of such intense anger and violence? What had we done? I thought of past years in Ireland when the streets of their cities were war zones. I thought of Israel and Palestine which were war zones. My world is so different.
The attacks took me to the edges of the dark places within me. Justice and, if necessary, retaliation must be done. Then the Dalai Lama issued a statement reminding us all that violence and war never result in peace. We had proven that in our world over and over again. Somehow I had to heal my own heart and stay open to loving and forgiving myself and others. Forgive myself for wanting to lash out. Forgive those who attacked innocent people. I had to keep my heart open to the innocent who would suffer because they also follow Islam but are gentle of heart.
Divine Love brought me an instrument of peace to heal my wounded heart and support my desire to keep my mind and heart open to all people. This gentle, loving man has been a student of mine for many years now. His quiet presence and his loving nature remind me that not all Muslims carry hurt and anger in their hearts. His tenderness toward me personally and his deep respect for me as his teacher have brought deep healing and the inner wounds are almost gone now. My gratitude for his presence in my life is profound.
Forgiveness and an open heart do not signify approval. Forgiveness and an open heart provide protection so that I continue to live and create from a place of love and compassion toward all beings. This is the only way I can be an instrument of peace in my world. I cannot control the motivations and actions of others. I can continue to love and heal the dark places in myself. I can live from the love and light that is my True Nature, my True Self
Loving and being open to the love others bring to me is the nectar of the Divine manifesting in life. There is nothing sweeter.