Sitting with Ourselves

It’s painful being away from the people we love.  After being a stay at home mom for many years, the pain of being away from my boys during divorce was unbearable. My identity, my purpose since becoming a mother was seemingly being torn away from me.  At times, the fear of being without them was so overwhelming, that I had a hard time staying present when I was with them… thinking about the days to come when they would be gone. For months, I struggled to fill my time alone. Going to as many yoga classes as I could, spending time with friends, etc. These things filled the space, but the wave of sadness and loneliness returned the moment I was alone again.

 

Oftentimes, my friends with children expressed how they would give ANYTHING to have a day by themselves without their kids. Despite this perspective, I struggled to find joy in those moments, and could only focus on what I was losing. This was my mindset for many months, until my yoga practice truly came off my mat.  Dyana (meditation), is one of the 8 limbs of Yoga, and something that I hadn’t incorporated into my life, until this point. Through a daily (sometimes hourly) meditation practice, things began to shift. There was something about becoming aware of the very parts of myself that enabled me to be alive (the breath) that was a powerful awakening.

 

 I learned how to stay present in each moment, seeing what a gift it was just to be breathing. Focusing on the blessings in my life, instead of what I didn’t have, and what I could not control. Eventually, I learned how to embrace being alone, and the opportunity to focus on myself. The waves of loneliness still come, but they wash over me instead of pooling around me…and when they come, I always return to my breath.

 

Cathy Connors