Walking down a path of Enlightenment, a path of yoga, or Buddha, or anything in which there is a spirit, many assume that those on this path are already perfect. Or that the things that are not perfection are small and are being eradicated at the moment. The expectation of peace to prevail at all times no matter where we are on the path. This holds true, a yogie can be held in progress in how they are able to react or not react to a situation. Still the issue remains, we are only human and we are not perfect, it is a practice and that is all we can do to remind ourselves that once in a while the ego will prevail and we will have to relive the reactions that we try so hard to be above.
This is the predicament in which I have found myself in now. Being an outspoken poster-child for yoga in my own community, there have been few times in which I am able to break down and cry for help. Now then what would be the more yogie thing to do; be able to suppress the emotions and create more physical and emotional problems for the future, or react and ask for help; allow myself to wallow for a while in the depression, and once I feel it is exhausted, crawl out of the hole? Yoga and spiritual practices are just that, practices. It is in the times in which the ego slips that allow us to grow and to give us gratitude for the good times.
In fact the growth does not just come out of the idea of living though an issue, but also from the idea of how differentially we will handle the crises, both small and large. For example, if one finds that one month after beginning down a path to enlightenment a family member dies, one might deal with it in a different manor then before their new journey. They may instead of eating an extra day’s worth of calories, they may only eat ¾ extra of a days worth of calories and do some Asana. It’s so small it is almost unnoticeable, but as time goes on, that same person may cut out stress eating all together. They may not only cut out stress eating, but they will no longer suppress the pain that is being caused do to different events. Then once something truly life shaking happens, one will find that it is not life shaking at all. After these instances this student may then find themselves redefining what they once thought was life shattering, and cultivates an expanded perspective. These tastes of Enlightened moments allow one to crave and want them more, give an appreciation of such moments and one then works harder to have these moments and have them longer.
It is often what we do when life gets us down, that allows us to find peace and reach Enlightenment. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says that a Yogie is one who will continue their practice even when times seem the worse. There is darkest before the storm the light is just over the horizon. The ego’s death is one that is painful for the body in which it is encased, and once it is gone the mourning stops and one reaches Samadhi. Even the perfect Rama suffered in his journey, and he was a direct reincarnation of Vishnu (the story of Jesus is also a good example), and when these beings suffered they did two things, 1) Turn inward towards their paths and 2) looked towards the outside support system of friends and family. It is important to know that we are perfect and no matter Yogie, Buddhist, or any other enlightenment seeker, to live is to feel and to live through.