Time after time again, I see myself falling into the same trap. The same ditch. The same dark hole that swallows my entire being. It’s almost life-threatening.

The mind-body connection is such an interesting subject to study. Even though my head rationalises logical reasonings, the body is slow to catch-up. For one who seems to wallow in self-hatred, this slow catch-up game that the body has to play puts the entire individual at a great disadvantage. Instead of working towards a greater goal filled with love and peace, the individual burrows deeper into the darkest realm of their demonic self. It’s a place of hell and fury. A place where love doesn’t exist. A place where their soul fades off in a slow, excruciating manner — they are lost.

I am lost. For years, I have been battling with self-destruction and self-hatred. Yoga teaches me that love is the highest power, and with love, I can find my true self. I believe all of that. But my body is slow in understanding this at times. I have felt small and weak many times in my life, and to regain my power, my mind automatically goes into a close-off mode where I choose to shut everyone from my life. I say choose, because it is a decision I make. I’m always presented with two choices: 1) to be alone in my dark space 2) to be in the bright open world. When events that trigger me hits, my body does not have any knowledge (or experience) of returning back into the bright open world. It knows that (or thinks that) to protect myself, it should retreat back to a place of darkness and solitude. Even though my mind is able to recognise the truth behind the second choice, my body refuses to comply.

It’s a recurring pattern, and we call that samsara in yoga. How does one rewind the tapes and record over this current pattern?

“One has to do, in order to meet the new challenge, is to strip oneself completely, denude oneself entirely of the background and meet the challenge anew.” — J. Krishnamurti

For someone who is dealing with past trauma, this quote might seem idealistic. But there’s so much truth in it. However, being aware of our traumas and patterns is just the first step – which many say to be the toughest. Step two would be to change the patterns – and this is when re-recording happens. This to me, is a deep mystery sometimes. It’s a constant struggle for me because the patterning has been deeply embedded into my physical and psychological psyches that change seems completely impossible at times.

My body feels heavy. Self-hatred doesn’t seem to flow out of my veins. I want a change. I do. But how?

The how starts from where I am. This is the truth of my being, and I’m sharing it with the world. It’s raw and it’s my struggle. This is human, and everyone faces struggles at some point during their lives. The how to changing starts from the determination to love the part that hates myself. To make love to it. To caress it and say: “I know that you are hurting, and I know that you are scared. But it’s okay. I love you.” We can’t extinguish the demonic parts of us, but we can recognize it, acknowledge it (because it’s actually begging to be seen), and shower it with love, compassion and empathy.

Yoga teaches us that everything begins from love. As I end off this post, weight has been lifted off my chest a little. I am love.