Note: I wrote this final post in my “Breaking Up” trilogy several weeks ago, when the pain was fresh. Lots of healing has happened in the meantime—thanks in large part, dear readers, to you. Your wise, compassionate comments have brought me back to my senses and the remembrance that while I may not have Kripalu in my camp, I have myself—and you, a burgeoning community of conscious seekers who have got my (and each others’) backs. Though it’s quickly becoming history, I’ll finish the sorry saga I started, so we can bury it and move on. Here we go:
I woke up much too early this morning to find myself grieving two related losses: the long-ago, lingering connection with my former spiritual home and, with it, the death of a dream I’ve apparently harbored—that I might some day, somehow, feel I could be actively part of it again.
In my last post, I asked what Bapuji would do if he’d been completely ignored as I was. I decided he’d have dealt with it by letting go and letting God. I suggested he’d have expeditiously and gracefully returned himself to the more essential, less worldly business of self-realization.
That’s what I am doing as I grieve. Bapuji meditated, chanted and danced his way to full surrender and the reclaiming of Supreme Self that spiritual surrender delivers. I’ve done a wee bit of that in my day, too. But today what I have done is allow myself to fall apart. Yes, I am letting myself finally feel the pain of what I must relinquish—because it has relinquished me.
Since it hit me full-force yesterday that this love affair I thought I had with Kripalu is really, really over, I’ve been weeping, grappling with self-doubt and revisiting my old companion shame. All these years after departing Kripalu’s walls, I’m unexpectedly having a hell of a time putting Kripalu to rest. But as I work toward it, I feel myself grow stronger, clearer and freer, the more I let the painful feelings surface and be met with the light of my awareness.
As I put aside memories (the past) and dreams (the future), I’m making room in my body-being for what is present. I allow more of who I am in this moment to arise and be recognized, first and foremost by me. My falling apart process may not have much in common with the surrender and Self-realization of a master like Bapuji, but , boy, is it a step in the right direction for me!
What I’ve sensed about me and Kripalu, and even wrote in my book, has painfully crystallized. By having hoped, however furtively, to one day be remembered and re-embraced by my former colleagues—especially the ones who remain deeply connected there—I was giving away my precious power, my spiritual and personal authority. I was letting other people define me.
By continuing to hope they would welcome me back into their protective fold, I was abnegating my responsibility to welcome myself into the fold of my own heart. I was giving up my right to have me, myself and I alone be enough, firm in my chosen path, without any stamp of approval.
The love and light of Bapuji are alive in me because I say so, with or without Kripalu (or anyone else’s) say so. I feel terrifyingly alone in saying that. Who do you think you are? insists the old demon of doubt. If I am not considered good enough for the Kripalu that Bapuji inspired, how good can I be? (I share the words that came, although as I prepare weeks later to post them, that dramatic sense of unworthiness is thankfully reduced to a shadow.)
This is as real as soul-wrestling gets are the words that come to me next. It’s pitch dark this early Nova Scotia fall morning, and I’ve had to turn on the light to write. My words have been coming through me with the same urgency that’s called me four times to the bathroom, as I move to release—every way I can—what is in the way of me embracing me.
Big Suzie (the mature woman I am) needs to embrace little Suzie (the frightened girl child hiding out and seeking recognition inside). And I must call forth the same unconditional love we touted at Kripalu. But Kripalu, it ironically turns out, has been in the way of my doing that. The dream—the fantasy—I kept alive, of being welcomed back triumphant, and vindicated for my choice to carve out a path of my own, has been in the way of learning to love myself as I am.
Of course I couldn’t fully see and appreciate myself when I was tied up in knots hoping Kripalu would do it for me! Another 18 years have passed since the 18 years I spent within Kripalu’s walls, and the time has come to say goodbye. For whatever reasons (my own soul’s growth must be one), there is no room for me at their inn. The inn where I must make room for me is within.
It still feels almost unbearably hard and sad to let Kripalu go. But it is happening, one cry and sigh, one bathroom trip and written word at a time. I am working both Kripalu and my need for recognition out of my system. And bless you all for holding the space for me to do that.
Meanwhile, our journey to selfhood marches on. One letting go leads to another. Next time I may find myself in the midst of still greater surrender to the universal will. Why? Because what my own willful mind wants me to do feels less and less like what my heart and gut are prompting me to. So it’s probably time to figure out if I need a gentler Plan B, or whether I may be ready for no plans at all! Though I’ve little idea what that life might look like, it’s an idea as liberating as it is terrifying. Please stay tuned. And speak up, for all our sakes, especially your own.