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finding my light

the moment I realized I'm not that bad

“I want that light” I thought to myself. I was lying in savasana at the end of a particularly exhausting yoga class thinking about how badly I wanted to walk around like I was full of rainbows, and sugar and never had a negative thought about anyone or anything. Sadly, I don’t. I have negative thoughts, I get frustrated with myself and others, and I’ve been known to shout expletives at the sky when my grocery bag breaks. So when I say I’m not an “fully-enlightened-yoga-head” you can believe me. 

This afternoon in particular my perfectionist tendencies were up in arms. WHY WAS I NOT ONE OF THOSE GIRLS WITH THAT HAPPY-SHINY-RIANBOW DEMEANOR?! Whenever I looked into myself I felt like I only saw darkness. I saw anxiety, stress, absentmindedness, and an exhausted heart. I try to give myself credit for my own mental health journey and see how far I have come, as this time just two years ago I was having anxiety attacks almost nightly.

Yet, here I am screaming at myself internally for not radiating rainbows. I took a deep breath and tried to quiet my mind a little. With each breath I tried to envision that I was filling the darkness I felt with light. What a joke, that didn’t do anything. I paused and only tried to focus on my breath, how it felt to have my heart beating in my chest.

A passing thought came to my mind in the form of a little golden rose. I tried to focus there. I’ve tried other forms of meditation, where there’s the light, or water, or whatever moving through your body cleansing you of bad energy and stress. That has never worked for me. The “water” or “light” always seemed to stop right as it got to my mind, only reassuring my feelings that my mental darkness too strong for cleansing waters or magic lights. 

My little golden rose was working. I pictured it growing, a little golden garden blooming inside me. I felt more and more at peace with every breath, here’s what was different. Instead of telling myself that I had to be filled with rainbows and sparkles and all good things, I accepted my flaws, yet despite it all my little garden grew. 

Even though I wasn’t exuding rainbows, or filled to the brim with shimmering light I felt for the first time in a while that there wasn’t this dark cloud around me. I felt like instead of stress and anxiety, I was guarding something precious inside me, something that was growing, and could still exist even with the parts of me that aren’t so light and cheery. 

I walked out of the room that afternoon feeling like maybe I wasn’t that bad, I had found my light, and that no one can be glitter and rainbows all the time, no matter how they may seem. None of us can exist always happy, or always positive. What’s import is that we feel the hard things, or sad things, is a healthy way and remember to take some time to water our gardens, we’re all still growing.      

   

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- MARCUS AURELIUS

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