Aparigraha, the fifth yama or personal restraint is defined as non coveting, or speaking in terms of opposites, contentment and wholeness with what you have and who you are as a person. These conditions are rooted in believing, “I am enough”.
The longing and desire we as a culture have for more, more, more are estblished in the ideas of fear and scarcity. We are told by clever marketing that if we do not have the newest this, or the hottest that, that we are in fact inferior. This scarcity mentality of not having enough also presents itself in our mental and emotional psyche, as the negative self –impression of I am not enough, I am lacking
in some way or another.
This scarcity and fear is a reflection, even a suggestion to move into the deepest aspects of our being that have been wounded, to unearth the parts of ourselves that are limiting, and to dissolve theses tendencies so that we can rest in a state of awe and wonder in the miracle of being alive.
I struggle at times with the idea of self-worth, and often question my “deserved-ness” of love and companionship. I would love to say that these contemplations come up as I am journaling and are a thoughtful, inquisitive processes. If I were to paint that picture for you it would be a lie.
My sense of security, or lack of, actually manifests in my life as anger and anxiety. For some people its depression or lack of zest for life. The emotions expressed when feeling unlovable, or not worthy of success and joy may change from person to person but the actions that we take in our lives and relationships are very similar.
When I am feeling like I am not enough, I shut down. I close myself off from receiving and giving love. Even when people that love me offer to help me, I fight receiving that help, because it’s easier to hide behind my walls than it is to be vulnerable and let love into my life. I create problems to avoid processing my own pain. I act aggressively, not taking time to consider the facts in front of me. I become a slave to my mind, to my samskaras. In essence, the actions I take increase my imbalances and perpetuate my wounds.
For a large part of my life I was stuck in a very dark circle of existence. Anger and anxiety plagued me frequently, depression stopping in from time to time to make it’s presence known. There were large periods of when the darker days outnumbered the days full of light and joy.
Yoga has been my gateway to myself. By using the tools yoga offers; asana, pranayama, kriya, bandha, mudra, mantra and meditation I am able to connect to the light of God in my heart more often than not. I still experience pain and stress in my life, but my reaction to these “stressors” is changing. I am becoming less affected by the ghosts of my pass. My wounds are beginning to heal. My perspective is slowly shifting from reactivity and anger to patience and compassion.
Aparigraha is an invitation to resist what is resisting you, to heal your wounds, and transcend the ghosts that limit our experience in this life. It’s time to begin an honest conversation with ourselves and to lean into vulnerability, to be open to love, and to honor light and love of God in our hearts. We are human beings, having a spiritual experience, we are whole, we are complete, I am enough.
with love, k