Now that I can connect the dots, I understand that it all happened just as it needed to so that I would find myself here today, that I would take the windy roads less traveled in order to truly get to know myself. And though, at times the road seemed endless or uncertain, it felt like the only path that made sense. Having a suicidal teen at 16 who ran away with no trace for 2 weeks isn’t what any mother should have to experience. I wouldn’t wish for anyone to go through that and I know what I experienced was nothing compared to some. But somehow, in this unusual, mysterious way, it was what must have been required for my development. If it could have been different, I imagine it would have been. But that’s just it – things unfold as they do and while we could say we have a choice and could have done it differently, why did things happen as they did? What lesson or reason or purpose could there be? And if we could have changed things and avoided things, then why isn’t this story perfect like I wished for it to be? Or is this sense that we choose our path to learn our greatest lessons a much higher aspect of our soul than we have usual access to?
There were times in life when I didn’t want to be the son of my parents or to even be here on this planet when I realized I felt stuck being gay and it wasn’t just going to wear off. But somehow I made it through, my family made it through. I’m forever inspired by my mom’s courage and commitment to life – as I know it wasn’t an easy journey for her either. As time passes, I understand more and more that my deepest suffering has been the fire that burned and made way for the greatest joy. My heart is both heavy and light. My mind is both spinning and calm. My eyes share both sadness and joy. Day by day, I’m accepting of this dynamic way of being and understand this to be the process of comprehending equanimity – where neither the highs or the lows are what I attach to, but that I learn more and more how to accept this ride as life’s steady awakening. So far, I see the potential, how we can avoid getting totally surprised when the pendulum swings far to the right, or far to the left. One day things are here, one day things are there. One day your hands are holding, one day they’re dropping or throwing or pulling. One day our hearts are full, the next our hearts feel so empty or so heavy or so filled with longing.
Like on my yoga mat, the journey isn’t always what I expect or according to plan. I’m one to have a general plan when I set out to teach or practice, but I’ve learned to listen to my intuition, sense what’s needed as best I can and adjust and adapt my yoga practice based on that. I do have an overall sense of progress though. I know to stay with my overall intention of being kind and loving to my students and to my body. Somehow that wisdom has transferred to be my aim of overall well-being in life – to be kind and loving. It just seems to allow me to keep my peace. I can then distinguish where I’ve been selfish or fearful and how that only hurts me in the long run. Yes, I still imagine there’s more hurt and sadness ahead, but I know that what helps me step up to the plate is that I’m here to live, to wake up and trust that life will always offer me teachable moments. And maybe it is by them, that I will gain deeper understanding of how we are all spiritual beings having this human experience…even our moms. And though for many of us, it may not feel perfect, I do trust there is some reason our mothers gave us life and our job is to be the best person we can possibly be.
Finally, I’ll share my revelation from 2007 while on my 2-month journey in India. I felt a connection to a divine mother and father that healed some deep sadness. It may be that being able to connect with the divine mother (a living or deceased mother figure who isn’t tangled in the drama of this mortal coil) helped me locate some inner peace. I began to feel that inner longing of perfection capable of being satisfied. It somehow took my parents off the hook of meeting my standards and helped me see them simply as fellow beings finding their way in this complicated world. It may be that being open to that divine connection allowed that relationship to appear and be strong. Because of this, I feel there is a mother above my mom who’s able to offer a love so infinite and unconditional, that I recognize grace in a way I never could have. Though it may not be perfect, I wish for all a light-filled day that recognizes the gift of our life, as it is, from our mother. May the Divine Mother shine brightly and lovingly on us all.