Updated: Jan 21
In yoga, there is a term called: Asteya
It’s definition: Non-Stealing
I have a story for you.
A few weeks ago I was on my way to a therapy session. As I was driving there, I was asking myself “what’s going on here?”
My heart was on FIRE!
I was on my way to meet as a couple and boy, did I have anxiety! I practiced my vic-tor-y breath on the entire drive. There was something inside of me screaming to get out.
Let me tell you a story, within a story. Tara Brach told this in one of her podcasts, and I love it!
There is said to be a fictional tribe, and when one of the member’s gets sick, they are said to have a tooth of an ancestor inside of them. In order to remove this tooth, they have to speak their “truth.”
So the entire community surrounds this ailed person as he speaks of all the things that worry him, that he fears. He speaks of all the things he swallowed and didn’t stand up for. His thoughts and truths of every kind that were never expressed.
As this person speaks his truth in the middle of the community, so to, the ENTIRE community has to also speak their truth in order for this person to get the “tooth” out.
I had a “TOOTH” inside of me and I could feel it. It had been in my body for the last three weeks and had changed everything from the way I acted, to my words. I had been protecting myself because I had swallowed a tooth. I hadn’t spoken my truth.
I am in the session. We are discussing something that hadn’t been up to his standard with me being gone the week before. I was short. My words were small and little. Our therapist looks at me and says “Sariah, what is going on?”
This was it. My moment to get the “tooth” out.
I explain I have anxiety. That I had to do my vic-tor-y breath the entire drive over. I explained I am scared to speak because I don’t want to hurt anybody, but I DO NOT feel safe.
(I have to take a deep breath even while I write this…)
A few weeks earlier my boundaries had been pushed. I had continually asked for and spoken “please stop” “please, I don’t want to do this” “please stop”
But I lay there. I didn’t get up. I didn’t move. My body was frozen.
I continually asked. But my body didn’t move.
I said: I try to walk out on this lake. Thinking it’s frozen and I am going to be safe. And I am not. I spoke of being there in that situation and physically feeling my heart close in. I was breathing, but my body was frozen. All I could do was continue to ask.
Since then, my hugs have been fake, my smiles have been stiff, and my heart has been closed (a robot). I am so scared. And I do not feel safe.
As I am speaking, his face drops and he has to walk out. He is going to be sick, he says. At that moment, my heart sinks. I don’t want to hurt him!
Our therapist looks at me and puts her hands up like “stop.” Sariah, don’t steal this experience from him. He has to learn how to feel it.
As Smee would have said in the movie Hook: I’ve just had an apostrophe. Lightening has just struck my brain!
How many times in my life, have I stolen other people’s experiences out of fear of making them feel uncomfortable?
How many times in my life have I swallowed that tooth and stolen from myself the opportunity to honor me?
I love the story of the tooth. I recognize it every time now. Where it sits in my body, how my body responds in rigidness when it’s there. It’s so scary EVERY TIME to speak up. But when I speak with consciousness and grace, with truth from my heart. When I honor me and know I am only doing harm if I steal other people’s experiences, I am going to heal.
I love you,