Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Rending and Mending

In honor of National Yoga Awareness Month, a blog about becoming whole:

Rending and Mending

Whole living can only truly be experienced by those who are whole beings. For some of us, wholeness is something that must be regained, a process of repair. Somewhere along life's journey, gapes and holes were rent in the fabric of our being. We encountered cutting words or violent actions that marred the tapestry that is the sum of experiences that makes us who we are.

Every tapestry tells a unique story from a unique perspective. Each image in a tapestry is a vital piece of the bigger picture of who each of us is. When there is a rend, a tapestry, like a person, can't be patched. It must, in essence, be remade. The process of repair takes time and intention. The first step is a dusting off. It has to be picked up and handled and cleaned of the dust of neglectful years. That's a good analogy for that moment when we realize we've let ourselves lay crumpled in a corner, collecting dust -- the motes of self-doubt and self-loathing and insecurity and all the other little particles of self-degradation that imperceptibly settle on us and obscure our colors -- and decide to pick ourselves up and shake it off.

The next step in the process of repairing a tapestry -- or a human -- is to take a magnifying glass and examine the tear, down to seeing just which threads are torn and what is missing from the pattern. Only then can the repair begin. With patience and perseverance, the fabric is re-woven. New strands are worked in until the image is restored. Many and divers strands may be needed to accomplish the task. The human tapestry has threads of physical, spiritual, and emotional hues. To leave out even one of them is to fail to tell the true story of who that person is.

My own life was marred by emotional and sexual abuse, and rape. Where there should have been a picture of a strong young woman living joyfully in a beautiful body, there was a gaping hole. Those experiences left me feeling disconnected from a body I was taught to believe was ugly and shameful. It's taken many years and many kinds of experiences to rebuild that image of who I truly am.

I picked up some beautiful strands to reconstruct that image with when I discovered yoga. For the first time, I was able to see my body as it truly is -- strong and flexible and capable of amazing things. I connected with my body. I became comfortable in it. I learned that my body is good, that it wasn't what people did to it or said about it. I'm learning to love it, listen to it, nurture and care for it. I am finding that I can accept it without judgement and enjoy it without reservation.

The years are passing and there are still some stitches left before my personal tapestry will be completely repaired. But I can tell you that I've seen the pattern, those strands of my true self that were missing, in my mind's eye. And I believe the finished product will be as beautiful as it is unique. Namaste.  

To share your own story about yoga, wholeness and health click HERE to visit the MPH@GW blog.

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