And From Your Ashes I Arise Ch 5

1:33 Mairī karunā muditā upēsksānām sukha duhkha punya apunya visayānām bhāvanātah cittaprasādanam.

“Through the cultivation of friendliness, compassion, joy, and indifference to pleasure and pain, virtue and vice respectively, the consciousness becomes favorably disposed, serene and benevolent.

This sūtra asks us to rejoice with the happy, to be compassionate to the sorrowful, friendly to the virtuous, and indifferent to those who continue to live in vice despite attempts to change them. This mental adjustment builds social as well as individual health. Besides cultivating these qualities, one should follow the social virtues of yama (2:30) for the well-being of society as a whole…”

BKS Iyengar, Light on the Yoga Sūtras of Patanjali (1993)

Posted with permission from the publisher.

28 August 2018

Letter To My First Yoga Teacher (written during a flood event on Kauai)

Here I am, sitting quietly (yet anxiously) in our “jungle hut” (the smell of cookies baking in the oven). The Hanalei river continues to rise and the sound of water rushing underneath is one I won’t soon forget…

Thank you for gifting us with your book! And thank you for the sweet inscription. I am touched.

Reading your personal story is giving me a deeper understanding into the nature of my relationship as a student, to you as a teacher; and why it was so important for me to leave your class before I lost heart. Looking back now, I see more clearly than I did before. Again, thank you. Some of the most profound lessons come in the most subtle of guises.

It seems our paths have been converging for some years as I also grew up in Chicago (west side), and was first introduced to yoga in 1975 when I was four years old. Do you remember Lilias Folan on public TV?

Fast forward twenty-two years when we met. I was awestruck by the grace, strength, and confidence you demonstrated with your practice. You inspired me. And now, again twenty-two years later—I am still practicing.

As part of my svādhyaya practice, I began journaling as a way to reconcile a long family history of emotional abuse. As you say in your book “…not one of us is immune…”. So true. As I wrote, I found an inner freedom to express my own unique, albeit small, voice. I made friends with my “inner guru” and discovered she is a poet!

My shattered-self-confidence continues to recover; everyday I am learning it is our relationships to others and how we treat one another that is most important for a happy, healthy and productive society.

So, here we are, back on the island after twenty years—our paths cross once again. The beginnings of a new chapter. It’s been a fantastic adventure complete with fires and now floods. I am happy to report that just in the time I’ve been writing this letter to you, the waters have receded significantly, birds have come to feast on tilapia, and we are devouring cookies!

Lovely to reconnect with you and the growing yoga community here on the island. The spirit of “aloha” is a live and well. And it would seem, the spirit of discontent is also thriving? Paradise and Hell all wrapped up in one.

So grateful to be alive at this time, and a witness to the eternal unfolding of the cosmic drama before us. And yes, forever grateful you were a part of our introduction to the practice of yoga! Om shanthi.

March 9, 2018

Dear Mr. X,

I hope you don’t mind me saying this:

I only wish to put a smile on your face and a warm glow in your heart.

There are so many beautiful words I wish to tell you…

But first, I must apologize.

It was a long time ago.

I was young.

Too young.

I was used to being abused.

Not loved.

It was all so confusing…

I am sorry I hurt you.

Can you forgive me?

There are so many beautiful stories I wish to share with you!

And

lately

I’ve had

the most

fantastically real dreams!

And…I’m dying.

Sooner or later

who can say?

It’s ok.

I feel pretty good actually

for a middle-aged woman in love.

Yet,

I feel

my health

isn’t what

it used to be.

Years

of abuse

is hard

on the

body

and mind.

However,

my soul-

my indestructible luminous soul-

is strong

and ready to take flight!

This old cocoon

is getting

uncomfortably

tight

And can’t contain

what is beginning to emerge….

April 11, 2018

Yesterday,

on the way home from bowling,

on the way to the butchers shop,

we drove past a sign

in front of a church

that read:

“Every day gives a new reason to praise God.”

And I thought,

Yes! Of course!

And praise

Allah

Yahweh

Jesus and Krishna

Lord Shiva

Perun

Thor and Zeus…don’t forget Kali…

When

we give

thanks

for one another,

with our

encouraging words

and

heartfelt gestures;

lifting up

one another’s spirits to

God—recognizing

the absolute infinite spark

in each and every

one of us

dwelling within—

are we not also praising God?

I am grateful for the reminder.

I am also reminded

how so many souls

have lost sight

of their God.

Unwilling to praise. Unable to surrender. Ungrateful.

Still,

God’s will

is stronger

than mine.

And today is a brand new day.

April 15, 2018

“Have you been drinking?”

“Why do you ask?” Was his response.

“Because I am your aunt.”

(Because I’m watching

your behavior

and it is so predictable.

You aren’t the first alcoholic

I’ve ever known.)

Then comes the excuses…

The feeling is indescribable–

becoming estranged from a loved one.

Saying, “You are no longer welcome in this house.”

The bitter heart ache

when you realize

you’ve been betrayed.

Again.

But there is also freedom

and a lightheartedness

that I haven’t known before…

If I were standing in front of you now,

what would you do?

Because while there is a part of me that wants to box your ears;

another part wants to hold you like a baby crying in my arms.

I don’t understand

how you

can be

so hard on me.

(Is it because you are also hurting and I’m not there to hold you?)

You will

miss me

when I am

dead and gone.

Remember this while you are twisting your knife into my heart…

You are my sister’s son

and just like your mother

as long as I give you what you want—

you can be so sweet to me.

And when I refuse—

you show me just how deep is your need for me.

Why do you fight me when I am on your side?

Yes, it is true,

you were a victim

of childhood emotional abuse.

No child should have to endure what you did.

Yet, here we are–

and you are

no longer

a child.

It is difficult.

I understand.

Despair is a treacherous thing

when hope seems

so hopelessly

far away.

It

Is

A

Struggle to climb up

Out of the depths of depression

Fear

Anger

Bitterness

What’s the use anyway?

Why should you care when (seemingly) no one else does?

But. They. Do.

If you can’t

On your own

“Square yourself

Around”

Don’t.

Seek out members of your community who can help.

And I think

you will find

they are willing,

more than willing

to help you

become

the best of you.

For you.

For your community.

For the whole of society.

Your

Well-being

Is

A

Blessing

To

Us

All.

There is nothing more I can do for you.

Not because I don’t love you or because I don’t care.

I want to see you

Becoming the most

Brilliant

Loving

Successful

Young man

You can become.

Nonetheless, you have to take responsibility for yourself.

And so

I have to risk losing you,

my angel baby.

My fond memories

of you-

your sweet

cherub smile-

I will always hold dear in my heart.

When you are ready

to face the darkness—

you will find

you are not alone.

We all need friends

who understand us.

Whom we can count on.

Who can count on us.

My heart

once broken

wide open

is strong again.

And I hope…

I’ll never stop

hoping

you

one day

realize your wings.

Only time will tell what God already knows…

May 4, 2018

He wants her to be more passionate in bed.

She wants him to be more affectionate in public.

They both cite: “too much water under the bridge”.

And so the two of them

go about their day

doing all the things

they normally do

for each other.

Waiting…

for the other

to make a move.

To change.

Looking up

occasionally

from their iPads

smiling at one another to say:

“I’m still here doing the best I know how in this moment.”

Twenty plus years of shared experiences.

They lash out:

“I am not what you say I am…I am a better person than that!”

Water under the bridge. Moving too fast…

I admit

when we met,

I was naive

and foolish.

(Still, you found me attractive—remember when?)

But I was hopeful…

…hopeful we could be more to each other

than just expectations,

desires fulfilled,

and selfish needs met.

We could grow up together…

I’ve learned so much

from you

over our twenty

plus years together.

But now l am

so painfully aware

of just how little

I really know.

We treat each other as if we deserve to be punished.

Perhaps we do.

It makes me sick to my stomach…

We didn’t know each other well enough to get married, did we.

And yet here we are.

Twenty

years

gone

by the wayside.

Do I deserve to be punished?

Then do it

and get it

over with

before the raging waters

destroy this bridge

between us

forever.

May 10, 2018

“I have this terrible secret.”

So says my childhood fears.

“If he finds out

he will leave me.”

Or worse

come to resent me.

I know

I have

Something

Wrong

With

Me.

Choose from any of the personality disorders de jour.

Any one may fit.

Depending on the time of day.

It’s embarrassing and I’m not exactly proud of the stupid things I did or the way I behaved; bills had to be paid and I had to keep up the appearance I was a functioning adult–trustworthy and dependable. But I wasn’t. And deep down, I knew it.

This is no justification for my poor choices.

“It wasn’t my fault!” Cries the child. “I didn’t choose to be abused!”

Or did I.

Perhaps I did choose to incarnate

in this particularly difficult body

to have this particular experience.

To go through hell

and discover

what hell

truly is.

Not some

mystical place-

underworld-

outside of myself.

But inside.

“Life is suffering”

So they say.

And for thousands of years so many “theys” have said exactly the same thing.

So

Maybe

They

Are

Right.

I remember a time

long ago

when I was

joyful.

I tried

to be

a good

girl.

Adults are supposed to care for and protect children. Are they not?

It seemed to me

I was always in trouble

for something.

I grew to hate my birthdays.

I grew to hate myself.

But always

there was this thing

inside of me.

I never could

fully explain what it was.

But it was there

and it kept me alive–

Whispering, “Hold on sweet soul. Just one more day…”

I don’t know

from where

it comes–

but here it is.

And it doesn’t

hate anything.

I’m not so sure

it matters

what you call it.

Just as long

as you

have it

inside of you

And you listen–

Please

Never stop

listening to the soft-whisperings…

I think

without it

I would have

taken my life…

so many times ago-

just to end

this suffering.

Hell hurts.

And there

were times

when the pain

was so great-

almost unbearable-

That I thought

I would leave

this awful-place-

of-suffering.

Once.

And.

For.

All.

It does make it a little more bearable to say:

“I chose to incarnate in this particularly difficult body to experience suffering.

And I choose to go through hell, if for no other reason—

just to see what is on the other side.”

Whether I deserve it or not, I am still alive.

Painfully. Joyfully. Alive.

And if he finds out–

all the better.

Author: N.Z. Robotewske

For the sake of my mother’s privacy, N.Z. Robotewske is a pseudonym. It has a nice ring to it, no? Find me @robotewske.

11 thoughts on “And From Your Ashes I Arise Ch 5”

  1. Thank you for continuing to share your intimate soul … sharing from the inside out…

    As a foster parent we come across children that have been abused and neglected and it is us that have to pick up the pieces and try to put their lives back together. We blame the parents … how can you do this to these kids who are innocent and fragile? Don’t you realize what you are doing to their future? … taking away their opportunities to find the love joys this life has to offer. Just because you (the parents) screwed up your life doesn’t give you the right to screw up the lives of our children, our future.

    When we finally put the pieces back together… and then what happens … you (the parents) cannot accept your responsibility and blame us for their emotional, behavioral and spiritual problems because we took them away from you and gave them an opportunity for love and life… If that is the case, then yes I will take the blame!

    Sorry… got off on a tangent, but this is an example of how powerful your story is and the impact it makes on the lives of your readers.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Don’t be sorry! Thank you for sharing your own struggles! I have so much respect for what you folks do. Fostering abused children…

      I wish there was a simple answer. Just stop! Stop everything. Take a deep breath in and hit the reset button! But it’s not that easy. And it wears us thin.

      But it also encourages me to keep going deeper, keep writing and keep my faith alive and strong. It’s a daily battle, but what other choice do we have? I’m with you, my friend. 🙂

      Like

    1. Diane, that is the sweetest thing you could say! Thank you for your support-right from the start I’ve felt your encouragement. A welcoming friend offering a place at your table. Thank you for taking the time to read my story and for your thoughtful comments.
      🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Glad you were inspired by your teacher and it’s obvious how much it helped along with the yoga!
    It’s not easy to rise despite all the abuse and pain, this is really an inspiring journey and survival story!
    “Hold on sweet soul. Just one more day…” it’s really powerful and touching and I salute your strength and your will to rise and shine and live ❤ Respect!
    Hope you're having a good day 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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