This past summer, my best friend came and picked me up after sunrise. She and her daughter took me to a wooded park. We swung and went down the slide at the abandoned playground. I collapsed in the grass, staring through the tree tops at the sky, the world made blurry by my tears. I did the same thing in a field in Virginia in the days after my husband left, abruptly. I never thought I’d be abandoned in such a way ever again. Foolishly, I thought the universe only dealt you that particular card once in a lifetime.
But now I know, because as the old folks say, live a little longer.
Thankfully, that temporary ending has been smoothed over and turned into something much more palatable and much less traumatic. But over the summer, in that moment, the pain was… suffocating.
With a sermon streaming in the background and beads stacked, splayed, and sorted all over our picnic table, they showed me how to string together a mala. Since then, I have held, worn, and fingered the smoothness of those beads in an attempt to hold on to my peace of mind.
I had been searching for a mantra for my mala- one that drowns out the voice in my head that screams used. unwanted. discarded. I needed a mantra that heals as it’s repeated exactly 108 times per rotation.
I found it.
Sunday, at my first meditation class, cemented that this is indeed the one:
i am whole as i am.
Because the meditation was practiced in 10 minute groupings, I was able to repeat my affirmation hundreds of times. It takes practice, but I had a few moments of calm. This is especially impressive for me considering it was Sunday… a day my mind is known to wander to my most extreme sexual fantasies, which- as of late- is not a positive place for my mind to explore. While I have no intention of squelching my sexual needs and desires, I do acknowledge that some fantasies are connected to a kind of partnership I do not have, and therefore the kindest thing I can do for myself is reorient myself to something less triggering. That simple (well, hard… wait, pun?) act is an example of self care.
.. not to be confused with aftercare, which I also m…wait…
See how my mind wanders?
*goes to find mala*