Breathing is the give and take of life. It is acceptance of all that life is. It is living.
If we stop breathing we die, right? If we hold our breath — afraid to give or receive — we won’t necessarily die, but can we say that we are actually living?
In focusing deliberately on not holding my breath I have embraced a new level of acceptance — acceptance of what is required of me by life, my family and God.
I have had to ask myself, “Am I willing to give all that I am (which doesn’t always feel like enough) and receive all that is given me, both the good and the bad, even the hardest moments of each day?”
My stifled breathing, I have realized, is a manifestation of my resistance to embrace that willingness and acceptance of life. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true. I have found a way around this type of acceptance and have been moderately successful in doing so, but my heart was always lagging behind, at times impervious to God’s attempts to persuade me. My breathing was as shallow as my acceptance.
This is why I mostly hated yoga, until today, the day after I experienced such a shift in perspective. I didn’t want to breathe. I didn’t want to accept that give and take aspect of life because I knew it wouldn’t always be pleasant, it wouldn’t always be easy… and because I felt inadequate.
Maybe it is hard to see the correlation between breathing deeply and living fully, but for me it is there. I could feel the fear in me of what the future might hold. I could feel myself resist the unknown, the changes that would take place, the vulnerability that comes with following God blindly into his will.
I share all this knowing that some will think, “How could she harbor such fear and resistance and still have the faith she proclaims to have?” But the truth is, I do have so much faith in God, but up until now I didn’t know how to address this deep seat within me that has been haunting me for many years. A part of my weakness that I clung to for my life. Think of a cat clawing its surroundings for dear life when it is about to be thrown into water. That was in me. Of course not in all aspects of my life, but in a few areas of my life I really felt bound by this chain of resistance. For instance: with the prospect of having to work part-time when I just want to be home with my kids.
But the more I breathe, the more I feel God’s strength flowing through me and I know for certain that I don’t have to face life alone. I just have to breathe, give all of myself and accept all of God and this life. He knows what I need to learn and what I need to go through in life. He has orchestrated his plan for me and I just have to accept it each step of the way. The good, the bad, the ugly and the glorious.
I am finally learning to breathe and it feels so good. I feel alive. I am alive and I am not alone. His strength is now running through me and I’m not going to fight it.