Two days ago I was attacked on my run to the park nearby my house. It was 11:30am on a saturday. There were lots of people outside enjoying the beautiful summer day. I was jogging down one of the busiest streets, and nobody stopped to help.
While running around the park I noticed the blank stare on the face of the boy on the bike, that would 20 minutes from now, attack me. I had a “bad feeling” about him and the stare that seemed to go straight through me.. but continued to run around the usual path.
When I got to the entrance of the park, ready to turn back to my house, I saw him sitting there. I decided to take the busier street home, and not give him any attention. I thought I was safe on the busy street, so I continued to run with my earbuds blazing music. 1/2 block later, in front of the university, I felt two arms reach around me, still not thinking it was a stranger.. The first thought to cross through my mind, was it was my partner, who came and found me to surprise me, but then I felt a struggle. I grabbed his arms that were around my waist and realizing I could not get them off, turned to look at him, as he tossed me into the grass, climbed on top of me and tried to pull down my shorts(it is at this point I realize the importance of ties on running shorts.) He could only get them down a couple of inches, which gave me time, as I started screaming and kicking, trying to get the man on the bicycle across the street to notice our struggle. When I did this, he ran away, and the bicyclist hesitantly came up to me.. a block later.. asking me if I was just attacked. I am sure he was as much in disbelief as I was, in this strange saturday morning occurrence.
I wasn’t going to call the police because I figured he was a young kid with a mental illness, but my partner came home and called the police. We discovered that he was most likely an older teen-drug addict-that had been wreaking havoc on the neighborhood and lives close by. The story in my head went from being in the wrong place at the wrong time to …I am a victim.
Why should I afford the teen with a mental handicap more compassion than the young adult struggling with addiction. After all..can I not understand the mind of an addict?
I went running in Costa Rica recently and saw a mountain lion, further up the trail from me. If I had been attacked by a mountain lion I would not create a story of how evil it was, or what a victim I am, attracting this chaos. I would have realized I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and try to stay away from mountain lions in the future.
But with this situation I allowed myself to steep into all the drama of the past and back story of abuse and allowed myself for a moment to.. almost hate.
The mental chaos of the past or fears of the future is the path most traveled.. the usual path, that steers us away from our intuition-God voice.
I slip into the memory of sexual assault of a child.
I was almost molested by my step uncle. Feeling his fingertips outside of my panties, was like a predator through the screen door..His question, “do you like that,” gave me the opportunity to appeal to a higher part of myself and the God response was “No”, that went straight from my navel into my leg, forcefully kicking him between his, so I could climb out of the dark playhouse and back into the sun-drenched living room.
Still I lived with the almost that became, “I was a victim.’ rather than focusing on the strength of the little girl that was able to be fierce and present. Not everyone is as fortunate as me to be able to get away from their predators, but all of us have turned the “almost” into a reason to hold back from living and loving.
How many of our almost traumatic experiences become more traumatic because of our temptation to fall into stories of the past, rather than allowing them to be messages of our strength.
Think of all the almost(s) that become your reality, causing suffering and bondage vs the almost(s) that would set us free.
Pure awareness is the almost that sets us free, into that limitless space. A teacher friend of mine once said to me, “It is our job to almost loose ourselves. This is the razors edge of yoga that is the space within compassion and awareness.
We either loose ourselves and become power-less or struggle to never give up our control.. always resisting, judging, and placing the world into complex systems of us vs them.
To almost loose ourselves.. means to stay in the place of our intuition and gut instinct. To take a new path. To ask the question that will send us into the discerning mind.
Today I went for a run and felt free.. because I did not want to give my power away to one situation or one person that is also struggling.
I do not want to almost enjoy my life, I want to almost loose myself in it.
How many of us loose ourselves or our lives to the almost(s)
I almost drove to the sea.
I almost lost myself in the deep beauty of the sea.
I almost did a great service to the world.
I almost lost myself in loving service to the world.
I almost fell in love.
I almost lost myself to the falling of grace in love.
I almost trusted enough to live a life full of joy.
I almost lost myself surrendering to the Joy that I am.
Note to Self.
Almost loose yourself every day. Trust. Take a new path. Taste and See. If the almost doesn’t work out, you still have your Self.