“I am not my patterns”

WALK ON ME is a statement that is a result of being abused. What can abuse do? It can dictate your life. Abuse has the potential to affect you on every level of your soul…for years into your existence…in every decision you make…in every feeling you feel… in everything you think, feel, say and do in your life… that’s how it can affect you.

And although I can’t say which worse, verbal or physical abuse, I can say that disempowering words imprint the soul.

Statements like: “Who do you think you are?” “You’re not that special.” “What if you fail?” and “What will people think?” stab the heart.

I can confirm that waiting for your father to come into your room with the belt sends the nervous system into overdrive. Being slapped numerous times stings and penetrates an already wounded heart. I remember the yelling; the irrational words that were spewed AT me and were never followed with an “I’m sorry”.

I distinctly remember my mother being very detached. No longer in love and uncertain of her ability to make it on her own; silently dealing with her own insecurities. Comfortable in her patterns, asleep to her own power.

So what happens after years of abusive patterns, besides the creation of an irrational sense of fear? A backward need to fulfill the label of being unworthy by fighting in junior high; suspension from school; pregnancy; abortion; drugs; alcohol; eating disorders. A sign that says, across my chest… “WALK ON ME. I am afraid to stand up for myself.”

Abuse creates repeated engagement in relationships that feed the belief of inadequacy and only serves to make that illusion real. As time goes on the abuse gets deeper creating even more superficial relationships. God forbid anyone sees the broken soul full of fear, shame, guilt and grief.

For me, the humiliation of abuse, created an inability to stay grounded in any one place for fear of people finding out about such a shameful past. Worse, I feared finding myself, examining my soul and seeing it for what it is… pure bliss and love. What the hell would I do with that??

What types of choices do we make when we are abused?

Personally, after too much trauma, I moved away. I chose jobs that kept me in conventional roles. I picked a husband who was innocent, who would never walk on my heart. I took the safe road. These choices served to heal my soul and I cherish them with surrendered gratitude.

However, the day I stepped on my yoga mat my world began unraveling and crumbling into a heap that revealed such pristine truth, it was impossible to stop the avalanche. That avalanche gave way to an alive state of being. I saw EVERYTHING. I couldn’t help but witness the patterns of abuse spill into my own parenting. I heard my words, watched my actions, cringed at my yelling voice and knew that it was not me. But at the time I had no tools to save my soul.

I beat myself up, recoiled in fear, replayed the recording “I’m a terrible mother!” “I’m not deserving of all this!” For a while I never examined where it all came from. I just accepted the patterns as who I was. Eleven years of marriage and never was I able to intimately express my needs. Never would I let my own husband in close enough to touch my soul.

What breaks the patterns of abuse and fear? Forgiveness. Equanimity. Gratitude. Yoga…union with it all.

My yoga mat is the space where I have truly found God, unconditional love and forgiveness. I learned to forgive in such a sacred space with such a simple motion of rolling my mat out and breathing.

When we forgive ourselves and express gratitude for our “perpetrators”, our life opens up exponentially.

We are not our patterns and no one deserves to be walked on…ever.