By: Bethanie Jones
Let’s talk about healing for a second…the good, the bad, and the ugly of it. The common perception of the spiritual path is one of miracles and unshakeable happiness. Often times the books you read or the people you encounter in this genre of life may appear to have “it all figured out”. They are so wise and so kind and always have this lightness to them. They are beautiful, walking angels, so graceful and at ease. They always know just what to say. Anyone that has had a great yoga or spiritual teacher knows exactly what I’m talking about.
The very first yoga class I went to, I was pregnant. I lost the baby soon after that, and it was a very dark time. I was drinking far too much and taking anti-depressants and any other pill I could get my hands on to numb the pain. It wasn’t just the pain of this loss, but the pain of my entire life leading up to that point that I was numbing. I grew up in a trailer park, full of drugs and sexual abuse. I never knew where my next meal would come from. I saw things that children should not see. The holes my soul acquired from my childhood and early adult life, felt gapping and much too large to ever mend. I remember one moment of darkness distinctly, when I held a gun in my hands, and just sat silently…pondering. Not as a means of giving up, but as a means to end this unstoppable pain.
Very few folks know this personal story of mine, and it would come as a real shock to many of my closest family and friends. I imagine them thinking, how could the happiest girl I know, carry that much sadness? I write it here now, with tears in my eyes, in hopes to break the silence, and to rebel against social stigmas and the persona of perfection.
I am light because I have seen the darkness.
I am free because I have been confined.
I succeed because I was told I could not.
I forgive because I have been forgiven.
I have hope because I have lived through despair.
These mountains were given to us to prove that they can be moved. “As you think, so shall you be.” I stopped seeing myself as a victim of my pain and my trials, and as a warrior of light instead. I chose to always, no matter what, do the bright thing.
Where there is pain, may I bring love.
Where there is discord, may I bring harmony.
Where there is error may, I bring truth.
Where there is doubt, may I bring faith.
Where there is sadness, may I bring joy.
Little by little, the more I gave to others, the more my wounds healed. When I found myself needing love, I gave it. When I found myself in need of laughter, I made someone laugh, and when I needed tenderness, I offered to listen.
“It is by self-forgetting that one finds.”
My wish for you all is to get out there and give someone what it is you need, and see how it feels. Try doing it once a day for a week. Once you experience the shift, tell others what you’ve been doing and encourage them to do the same.
When we carry our own stones, mountains will be moved.