woman looking out window

A while back, I reconnected with people who, in some capacity, had been a part of the yoga studio that I used to own.  Of course it felt great to catch up but what I did not expect were the fond memories they had of the studio.  Funny times I had forgotten.  Memorable events I thought only I had found special.

The last months before the sale of the studio were tumultuous and left a lot of hard feelings.  Sometimes when people leave my life, there are irreconcilable differences.  I hate that but am learning – at full glacial speed – to be okay with the fact that not everyone is going to like me or be happy with my actions.  I hadn’t realized how much I let the stress from last year skew my perception of all we accomplished at the studio those five years.  Yes, we.  I couldn’t have done it by myself.  Together as teachers and students we created a beautiful sangha that will continue indefinitely on many levels.  I am grateful for the reminder of the connections we made, the lives we touched and the good times we had.

For a really long time, I was almost incapable of connecting with others.  Isolating myself was a coping mechanism that once served me quite well.  As a kid, I didn’t know how to handle people were two-faced, obnoxious, cruel.  My takeaway from having endured these painful situations was that people were generally untrustworthy and the only person on whom I could rely was myself.

But the self-inflicted badge of self-sufficiency is a lonely sentence.  Always searching for solutions without ever asking for help out of fear that someone would label me as stupid.  Never having a shoulder to cry on because I didn’t want to be perceived as weak.  Fooling myself that it was better this way but, in reality, it was an awful way to live.

Then, when I started having panic attacks, I couldn’t do it by myself anymore.  Now even I was letting me down; how terrifying.  At the time, it was horrible but I can see now that it was my saving grace as it forced me to do the unspeakable: ASK FOR HELP.  I was actually shocked how people rose to the occasion.  For the first time, I had a support system.

Along the way, I have had to learn how to set boundaries: draw closer the people who respect me and put distance between me and those who don’t.  But my most shocking revelation has been:  My strength manifests from my most vulnerable moments.  Being vulnerable actually takes me in the polar opposite direction of panic:  it brings me towards peace and love.

3 thoughts on “Isolation”

    1. I am at the place at my job that you were then and recently learning that I can’t trust some who I thought I could has been heartbreaking. Thank you Deb, for being one of the true blue ones.

      1. Yes, seeing the dark side of others can indeed be saddening but look for the space in which you can be less affected by their actions. Regardless of their choices, you are still a caring, honest person who has the best of intentions for those around you. The system has many flaws. Surround yourself with those who walk in the light and put as much distance as you can between you and those who don’t. And, of course, I’m with you on the journey.

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