A Story of Retreat

I went to meditation today for the first time in over two years. When I stopped my practice (over two years ago), I was broken inside--my heart was shattered--and the ashram reminded me of what I saw as failures. I've 'planned' to go back many times, but always begged out. Tonight, after a blip of doubt, I buckled down and headed over to the ashram.

As soon as I stepped in the door and smelled that familiar smell I felt at peace. It was blissful, healing, invigorating. I can't wait to go again.

You see, I am a very giving, empathetic person. Often times, to a fault. I find joy in giving my love and energy to others, but sometimes I don't realize that I have given too much until it is 'too late,' and I am either drained or something gives. Sometimes I end up giving more than just my love and energy--without realizing, I give control to others--of how I feel about my life, or about myself. It is a strange thing. I am understanding it better as I get older.

Through a series of fissures, cracks, and other broken metaphors in my life, I have realized lately that I need to take back control of myself, my life, my emotions. The last couple of years have been hard, and because I was in school and working so much, I haven't taken too much time to deal with a lot of what went down. I don't know if it's the "American way" to just push through things, or if it's just how I was raised.

Push through it until you hit a wall.

So, I am retreating. I started retreating a bit ago--reaching out less, prioritizing my husband and our home life more, taking space. Drawing, coloring in coloring books, working on jigsaw puzzles. Meditation is part of that. Finding peace is part of that. Letting others reach out to me is part of that.

Yesterday, we went for a hike in Forest Park. It was a part of the park I hadn't been to before, up high near the ridges. You couldn't even hear the highway until you got to the very top. It was so nice just hiking up hills amongst the ferns and dead leaves, laughing with Dave as we stopped and started again. We came to the top where there is this crazy water tower from the 1960's, and found a patch of grass to lay down on.

The funny thing, this state of retreat is actually more of my natural state. Growing up, I was always more comfortable alone or with animals and books. So here we go--retreating, replenishing, returning to my natural state.


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