Deja vü. It’s something we can laugh about, but when it really and truly happens, it can knock you sideways. I wanted to write something new about this place I keep finding myself in, but nothing original is forming. So I’m reposting something (with minor edits/updates) from more than two years ago. Deja vü. It’s like a hat I can’t take off.
(originally posted June 2008)
“You know quite well, deep within you, that there is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation…and that is called loving. Well, then, love your suffering. Do not resist it, do not flee from it. It is your aversion that hurts, nothing else.” — Herman Hesse
Love your suffering. I’ve heard this over and over during the past few years. In yoga class. At meditation retreats. At a crazy Friday night kirtan where I sat next to a woman draped in mala beads who sobbed noisily throughout and intermittently cried out “I embrace you, misery!” while waving her hands in the air. I’ve read it in endless books on healing; buddhist, hindu, western. I’ve heard it at seminars, at Kripalu, in therapy. I’ve written the words and stared at them for countless hours. Love. Your. Suffering.
How do I do that?
Do I even want to?
Happiness was here for a while. I stopped reveling in nihilism. I let go of anger. I am no longer dependent for the life of my life on another human being. I walked away quietly into the empty spaces and found, if not enlightenment, then at least balance. I’m headlong into the theory of buddhist peace — I can touch it NOW. Be present in it now. I don’t need to do something now to get somewhere later. I’m here. I want to look in the mirror and recognize the person who looks back.
However, suffering is still there. I know it is. I’m human. I’m hip to the impermanence of almost any emotion, any experience. Happiness is a promise with a catch, right? Never forget from whence you came? I know that I am made entirely of flaws, stitched together with good intentions. I know that my emotions are my responsibility; contrivances with which I am actively complicit. I know that under the surface, there’s still a need to deal. I just liked being happy SO much.
So came the flood. I was in urdhva uhanurasana, or backbend pose, this morning. I was rushing through my practice so I could get my day started; a mistake right there. I had left iTunes on and was listening to a playlist I had forgotten about. This song came on. I was completely unprepared for my reaction; shaking wrists, trembling legs. My energy, my chi, just went away, and I collapsed on the floor, tears streaming. It doesn’t take a genius to see the metaphor. I can stand alone, but I don’t want to.