Exploring Our Inner Strength
I woke up today, stirred into consciousness from the warm brightness of sunlight filtering through my bedroom windows, a much more uplifting beginning than the dreariness of yesterday. I turned inwards, sending out feelers for what my deepest self wanted. A walking meditation is what rose to the surface.
That felt right. Perfect, actually. After a gloomy Monday, feeling so lackluster and exhausted, I wanted to get out in the sunshine and feel the crisp morning air fill my lungs. I searched “walking meditation” on the Insight Timer and settled on “Walking Mindfully” by Human Evolution, truly not knowing what to expect.
I stepped outside and began to walk. His voice guiding me, I took in my surroundings. I feasted on the treescape before me. So many trees, so many different shapes and sizes, and a whole array of colours. I saw it all in a way that I normally don’t and it was breathtaking. I continued to listen, turning the focus to the motion of my body, its sensations, how the soles of my feet felt as they carried me along.
As my meditation came to a close, I arrived at My Spot and took a seat on the yellow barrier. I scanned the water, took in the lighthouse on the little island, gazed up towards the top of the ridge, and listened to the bustle on the working dock. And then the unexpected happened while the powerful chanting of the Moolamantra filled my ears.
Showering. I thought about showering and I had no idea where this thought came from. But there it was, memories from my past flooding my vision, obscuring the beautiful scenery before me. Perhaps it was sparked from the weariness felt deep within me.
I saw Peter and me in the shower in Palm Springs, the first time we ever went together with my parents before we got married. I saw him lifting the listless limbs of my fatigued body, washing them for me, washing my hair, holding me up at times. I saw myself rag-dolling to the bottom of our shower at UBC, weakly hitting the wall to alert Peter, him coming in with confusion on his face, him having to lift me out. The shame, the helplessness, the ripping of dignity and pride from my being.
In my mind’s eye, I was then transported further back in time to the first two showers we ever took together soon after entering each other’s lives. A completely different experience under totally different circumstances. Nervous excitement, uncertainty, self-consciousness, and then wild pleasure. This was all so new, so fresh, so foreign. Those were showers of exploration, discovery, intimacy, playfulness, and pleasure. We stood as equals. I stood strong on my two legs.
And then, in the blink of an eye, we were no longer equals. We were patient and caregiver. He was strong and I was frail. He stood and I collapsed. And that’s when tears sprung forth and I observed them with surprise.
Where was this coming from? What had untapped this deep, deep well of profound sadness? This remembering of what my body and spirit have been through, of what they have had to endure. I felt it in my core, it resounded deep in my chest, this wave of all those past emotions - sadness, defeat, shame, confusion, betrayal, frustration, anger, mournfulness, grief.
“You have been through a lot” my mind whispered. And it wasn’t about comparing what I’ve experienced to anyone else. I know that I have suffered more than others and have suffered far, far less than many more.
But in that moment, it was about how much I have endured. And it is far more than I ever imagined possible.