When I was asked to write for Alison’s Notebook, I was so excited. I thought “Someone wants to hear my story! I’ve always wanted to write it down.”
She asked to me write about several topics: my marriage, the disintegration of my marriage, moving half way across the US for love, coming back when that failed, falling in love again and getting remarried, and my super amazing awesome family. I thought this challenge would be a no brainer. I sat down to put my thoughts on paper, and I tried to tell the story of my first marriage. Beginning in the middle of the relationship on the honeymoon, I started the story somewhere near the continental divide in Wyoming, when I started to feel the first twinges of something being off. I was so sure that we were supposed to say “I do” and then everything that was not quite right was going to be better and where is my pony and rainbow? The writing stopped there.
All the words tried to get out at once and stopped up in the very small funnel that is my typing speed. And the words were kind of not pretty.
I let the thoughts sit in the background running for a while. I think most in the shower, super long thinky showers. I-can just-stand-there-and-think-until-my-fingers-prune long showers. Sometimes I need to set a timer. So while gazing at my spray bottle of apple cider vinegar, I started to think about what the whole picture of my stories looks like, framing the shots in my mind. I wanted to find the light, the right depth, the best exposure. I can’t always shoot at sunset when the light is its kindest, but I can try to give you the best picture of the time. Farther down, removed, with more perspective, the picture my mind can make is a happier one.
This is where the ahimsa comes in. Very simply put, Ahimsa is avoidance of violence.
Ahimsa is the first Yama from the first limb of yoga in Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras. Ahimsa is commonly interpreted as not inflicting injury or harm to others, ourselves, and all creatures of the world by not only actions but also through thoughts, words and deeds.
Ahimsa is what drove me to make changes in my first marriage. I realized that my non-action, which is how I interpreted ahimsa, my just going with the flow, treading water day by day, was causing harm to myself and my ex-husband. I could not find my joy, and I was terribly sad inside. And by me staying in that relationship and trying to sling it out and fake happy for the sake of everyone else, he could not find the happiness and love that he deserved.
My mind is turning around this concept of telling the rest of that story and all of my stories, without pointing fingers, laying blame, and most importantly being kind to myself and others. Ahimsa. Gracefully and sometimes emotionally telling you the story of packing everything I own in a car and driving it across a lot of states, without that story causing harm to anyone. Ahimsa is the name of the final gear that turns to spit out words. There are a ton of gears before that one. They have names like: guilt, love, shame, passion, distrust, honesty, hate, seclusion, bitterness, disillusion, crazy and disintegration. And they are all part of the story of hurting good people in my life and coming back, asking forgiveness, and finding all kinds of love.
It’s going to take a while to unpack the stories. I hope that Ahimsa can become the central gear of my mind while I do it.
Is Ahimsa part of your life journey?
Wishing you grace
(Special thanks to my yoga mutti Alex Merkowitsch who has taught me on and off the mat throughout my transitions)