This is what no one tells you about meditation.
Some days are going to suck. It’s not all going to be rainbows and butterflies, mountains and peace, rivers and joy.
My meditation this morning made me weep… like actually bawl and release a flood of giant anime-like tears that you only see in Studio Ghibli movies.
I had just finished my yoga practice, and went to lay down on my mat. Feeling all zoned out and relaxed, I expected to have a peaceful meditation… but no.
My Inner Child had different plans for me.
I was walking through the forest when I saw her standing in the distance, waiting for me with arm outstretched and palm open. As I met her hand with mine, she led me through the brush to a mountain with an ornate wooden door embedded into the rocks.
As I pushed the door open, I was greeted by the people who have hurt me in the past.
Immediately, feelings of pain, fear, and anger welled up in my chest.
In the middle of the cavern in between me and the people I had not yet fully forgiven, was a column of vibrant, green light. Drawn in like a moth to a flame, I stepped into the embrace of this healing light.
I watched as my child self, no older than three years old, stepped up to each of my transgressors. As she looked into the eyes of each, they transformed into small children.
And I was able to see the pain they, too, held.
I was able to see the ex who broke my heart by cheating on me – a small child dealing with a mother addicted to heroin who let his pain leak onto me because he had not healed.
I was able to see my grandpa who recently passed who made me feel like my emotions were bad by knocking me on the head when I was being “too much” – a small child who had grown up in oppressive communist China which very different values, who hadn’t healed his heart from the physical and emotional abuse he endured.
I was able to see the men who violated my body – small children so stripped of their own power that they had to take it from someone else to feel enough, rather than reclaiming their own healing.
The tears came like an exorcism of all the pain I’ve held onto in my life as I watched my child self step up to each of these hurting, broken children and hug them tightly, wiping away their own tears and gently kissing their wounds.
She came to me to be comforted for being so brave in the face of a very scary process of understanding and forgiveness.
I held her close, as she sobbed, whispering how beautiful she is and how brave her heart is. The green light swirled around us until it entered both our hearts like a wave of fresh air.
And I felt so free.
You see, forgiveness is not about excusing people for how they hurt you or saying that what they did was okay or right.
It is not about absolving them of their wrongs or condoning their harmful behavior.
Forgiveness is choosing to let go of your own pain and loving yourself enough to release what’s still keeping you stuck.
And it only happens when you’re ready.
If we don’t heal our own wounds, we will continue to leak that pain onto everyone around us.
The cycle of hurt continues until someone is brave enough to stop it by feeling it, healing it, and releasing it.
So yes, meditation can sometimes suck.
Meditation can be painful. There are days where it feels like your heart is being ripped from your chest as you release decades worth of pain and suffering.
And yet, this is the beauty of the practice.
Because I am able to hold space for my own pain, to love myself fully in all my forms, and show up courageously, I can extend this same presence to the others and the world.
The journey always starts within.
And no one promised that this journey would be easy, just that it would be worth it because the treasures we find in the healing are priceless.
And they are YOURS.
Are you ready to claim your healing?