These past few weeks have been crazy...I've been going through things NO WOMAN should ever have to go through! Steve Yang has turned out to be not who I thought he was...I had elevated him so much previously, but now he has turned out to be a retaliatory, narcissistic predator of sorts who is taking up ("sucking up") so much of my time - time I should be spending on self-care and self-love (e.g.) my ballet class with the House of Yes, going for health appointments, that swimming I've been meaning to do for a week now...the list goes on.
Today, at least for half of the day, I found myself exhausted and feeling spent. But I found my voice a bit in my yoga class today - a yoga class which consists of 200-some people conducted via Zoom. I have always wanted to take one of those yoga classes held in Times Square with hundreds of people sitting adjacently to each other doing sun salutations or doing deep breathing exercises in the midst of the hectic and bustle of NYC. My yoga teacher kindly said, "Today, you are here because of your circumstances." It then hit me - despite all the grossness, angst, suffering and anxiety I've felt these last four months because of how he violated me or my body or his other retaliatory actions or the violence I've experienced from my religion , my circumstances have brought me here....and that is enough.
I have a very difficult time with being judgmental - being judgmental towards myself and wanting external love and affirmation from other people. What I learned today through doing yoga poses and doing breathing exercises and just sitting with myself is that I am enough and there is really nothing "I can add on" to make myself more acceptable or a "certain way" for another person. This is Love and nothing - no force in this Universe - can negate this, no matter how I feel or how this dark and broken world tries to make me feel....This doesn't mean I will not let hold certain people accountable or don't expect an end result or closure proportionate to the crime or what happened. I've realized that I no longer can be "okay" or "put up with" any kind of gender-based violence and that I will not accept violence from anyone around me or through my religion or any other kinds of undue influences that try to steal time away from self-love as a form of social justice (Audre Lorde) or anything that I NEED to be doing in my Life. I also will not let anyone or anything harm me - I highly value a harm-reduction strategy for myself and my Life. I've been feeling like I'm on some sort of crazy amusement park ride where I can't get off - I've been feeling jerked and pulled in ways that I hate...and my body feels badly. My body feels a difference. But somebody reminded me of an adage today: "It's okay NOT to be feel okay."
The control freak in me and my Asian-American identity mean that it's difficult for me to accept some circumstances in my Life - there are things I hate, such as bullshit from other people that take away my time. But I realize that all of these hardships and trials are perhaps teaching me to just be with myself...to get to know myself - my quirks, limitations, my strengths, my moments of silliness, the child in me...Perhaps there will be a day when I will not have the external circumstances or the people in my Life and I will have to learn to befriend myself and to draw on my strength. And today, even if it feels like this world is falling apart and things feel apocalyptic in some ways, this realization is enough.
Dommaraju Divija from CHITTOOR on April 16, 2021: