Ram Dass once wisely said that if you ever think you are spiritually enlightened, go spend a week with your family.
So very true.
I meet many enlightened beings in my travels, people that have meditated on the highest mountain, people that have taken vows of silence…
And yet one phone call back home can trigger an ocean of emotions.
So many of us, confused between spirituality and avoidance.
I’m back in Canada, living with my parents. And yes, it seems like all the lessons of forgiveness, compassion and unconditional love have simply flown out the window.
The first moment my father raises his voice or that my mother panics over unimportant details, it makes me want to close the door to my room. Alas, I have no room.
People tell me I’m brave because of my travels, but bravery comes in all forms. Yes, living in the Tanzanian bush with a witch doctor sounds scary. It is always scary when diving deep into the unknown. But sometimes I feel braver when simply staying home.
Being around family will bring about deeply rooted patterns and fears. The more shared past you have, the more present you need to be.
God has blessed me with many beautiful moments with my parents since my return home. When I first arrived, I remember falling back into my old patterns of distancing myself, shutting my self from them, wanting to leave not because of them , but because of the person I became when with them. So I prayed. I asked God to open my heart so that I can be as loving and compassionate to my parents as I am to complete strangers halfway across the world. And God is so good. That night , my mom woke up in the middle of night , asking me if we could talk. How beautiful it was to call upon the Most High, to ask him to hold this suffering for me, to experience his grace and to finally be able to be the person God wants me to be, with my family.
Going. Staying. The familiar. The unknown.
I realised that all offer a path to healing.
It was ashtanga that taught me to go beyond , but it also taught me to stay still. I learned that sometimes you have to push, that some days were meant for exploring deeper. Other times were meant to pull back, and to simply observe.
Like in life.
At times, courage is diving into the unknown, into the darkness.
Other times, courage is simply the willingness to stay.