In Kundalini yoga we greet one another with the salutation Sat Nam, it means, My Identity is Truth. I meditate on this mantra continually to plant the seed of it’s meaning in my heart. I know that if my life is filtered through truth, then my foundation will be strong. As romantic as that sounds this reality can be a difficult practice to follow. Yesterday I had the chance to experience my truth first hand.
As a child, I attended a small day school in Fitchburg Massachusetts called Applewild. I attended Applewild from the fifth through ninth grade, the years that I dealt with the greatest losses of my life. I credit the teachers and the school for all it did to embrace me, a young, angry, wild, lost kid that was doing her best not to be truthful about what was going on at home. There are few words to describe how Applewild makes me feel. It is home, and I return there as often as I can to connect with this supportive, unconditional and loving part of my childhood. Yesterday I returned there to see my son, who also attended the school, being Skyped in to speak about his experience there.
As is most often the case when I return, I have reunions with friends. But yesterday was different; I saw a friend from my class that I had not seen in 41 years. As we greeted one another she spoke of our time together as kids and said, “you know we clashed.” Initially, I was taken off guard and responded by saying, “ I know we both have strong personalities.” But then it occurred to me that there was more to what she was saying. I realized that somehow I had hurt her and that the angry, wild, wounded kid I was back then had left a sad imprint on her. As is often the case when an unexpected, uncomfortable conversation arises, there are a lot of different thoughts that run through your head. But, in this case, all those thoughts cleared and only one truthful thought appeared, you need to make amends to this friend. I told her about the losses of my life at that time, something I didn’t share with my friends when I was going through it because it hurt too much. She responded lovingly, saying she hadn’t known and was so sorry.
As we said goodbye, I felt profound gratitude for what this experience exposed to me. I realized that now I live in the truth. I can ask for people’s forgiveness, and I can forgive myself. Truth means, I no longer hide from who I am. I can now reconcile and forgive myself for what I couldn’t do when I was not living truthfully.
I returned to my childhood school, and once again it held lessons of acceptance, unconditional love, and forgiveness. I took a step forward yesterday because of a friend’s courage to speak her truth, and I am forever grateful to her for that.