A few weeks ago I walked into a yoga retreat, running kinda late and frazzled because I'm always late and always frazzled. I knew I was supposed to bring a journal, but I couldn't find mine anywhere... typical. In my rushing around, I saw it... a gray journal where I had poured out my heart in the lowest moments of my life. The gray journal where I wrote all my ugly and terrible moments. After I closed it, I had planned to never open it again. So when I realized that it was the only journal I could find, I felt kinda ticked. Why was this journal calling to me? Why was this darkness going to follow me to this retreat? Can't I have a damn minute alone where my story doesn't follow me?
But I took the journal, and I let it lead me. Before our teacher, Jen Pastilhoff walked in the doors, I had already read the entries. I wiped away my tears, hoping nobody saw me. I flipped many pages past my last entry in an attempt to separate myself from the truths sitting there.
But as is true for any soul crushing, it follows you. And on Saturday, with the help of Jen (who I flipping love), I opened up and became brave to look at the crushing. Where I once said "I'm not allowed to be happy," I am now saying "my brokenness makes me beautiful."
I remember in the middle of my lowest moments, I couldn't attribute meaning and purpose to the pain. But when I looked at others who could embrace their messy story, it gave me hope that maybe one day I could too. And I honestly never thought I'd find the day where I could find gratitude for my storm. It wasn't fast. It wasn't pretty. But here, two years later, I've found some beauty in the ugly. And I'm finding myself surprised at the sweet strange taste of gratitude.