What does freedom or liberation mean to you?
Adele’s new song “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” says it all. “I’m giving you up. I’ve forgiven it all. You set me free.”
Freedom, svatanya: the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
Liberation, moksha: freedom from limits on thought or behavior.
I am finding my freedom these days. The loss of my best friend and lover has been one of the hardest but one of the most inspiring learning experiences of my life. I felt the turning point come while I was visiting my Canadian family and through the time they blessed me with to heal.
In November, I received an email from Ian, my friend Susan’s husband, inviting me to Ottawa, Canada for Susan’s birthday. He planned to surprise her and offered to pay for my round trip flight. He couldn’t keep a secret from Susan and told her about the offer.
Susan is my guardian my angel. I met her at Kripalu, a school for self study in yoga and rehabilitation, yoga training and Ayurveda training, in the summer of 2011 for the first level of the yoga therapy program. We connected at that time but I was in a different place in my life and rarely held on to long distance friendships. I am not that way anymore, and for that I am grateful.
I traveled to Kripalu for the second half of the Yoga Therapy training summer of 2015. I was excited, but when I arrived there I found myself hiding in corners and not socializing. Anyone who knows me knows that I am energetic and social. Often when I travel, I will meet five people and know something about each of them within the first ten minutes. I was hurting, and the wounds were very fresh at that time. The pain pierced so deep into my soul that I could barely breathe. Kripalu is a great place for rehabilitation, so I was able to embrace the pain rather than push it away. I found out about my husband’s Afghanistan affair only weeks prior to my trip out to the East Coast.
I am deeply grateful that Susan is a part of my life. I needed her there at Kripalu for those two weeks. The training is a bit of a blur, but I am very thankful for my connection with Susan.
At the time when Ian made the offer to travel to Canada, I was putting all of my energy into salvaging my failing marriage. I didn’t know whether we were on a path of recovery or on our way out. Looking back on it now, I see that my husband had no intention of taking the steps to reciprocate with the same investment and energy. Most of my adult life, I have told myself that I would try anything, that I don’t want to regret anything that I have done or miss an opportunity to grow. I know most of this is based on perspective, but there is a degree of chance.
I knew that I wanted to put all of my effort into our marriage so that I would not have regrets, and I declined the offer to travel to Canada. The month passed, and after Thanksgiving, I inquired about the future of our marriage. He responded quite coldly via a text message.
“Yea Kamie. Nothing has changed. I plan to contact a family law this week. I’m sorry.”
I knew deep inside that it was coming but found that the words penetrated profoundly. I hit rock bottom that week. My soul ached with the loss that was happening. I called Susan and asked if I could come to spend some time away from the hell that I was living. I was experiencing anxiety on a good day and debilitating panic attacks on the bad days. Susan responded with a ticket to Canada, and I took a breath of relief… and then the pain broke. I could think and function again. Was it freedom? For the first time I could see myself in a new place and in a new life. Canada! There I was. Little did I know this would be one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
I had many opportunities to reflect on my life, the past, present and now looking ahead to the unknown future. I have an amazing life and it is only going to get better. The last two years have been a test of my inner strength, forcing me to adapt and change. The last six months have been a true test of my emotional endurance. I have had the opportunity to exercise a spectrum of emotions, and it fuels the motivation for my future.
I am moving on. I never thought that it would be possible when I was wallowing in the pain and mud of reality, but a lotus must root deep in the mud before it can bloom. I now see the light, but I have further to go before I can truly bloom. I know now what it feels like to feel deeply nourished and supported. I slept, relaxed, and created beauty.
I was visiting with Mum, Susan’s mother, she had many non-judgmental words of encouragement. She has a story of her own unbelievable, life-changing relationship. I do not feel that my marriage was a failure but a lesson in life. I am thankful for the years I had with him. He introduced me to so many amazing things such as the BWCA (Boundary Waters), ultra marathons, and so much more. I have traveled home knowing that I have to face the reality of life. This transition has created wounds that I know will heal in time, but now I know what it feels like to be happy and comfortable. Life is good. And even through these difficult days, I find myself inspired by the amazing people around me and their support and love as my life evolves.
I am thankful for you, the yogis and yoginis that have made this studio what it is today. I look forward to seeing you soon.