by Nya Alemayhu
Love brings up everything that has been unloved. When I first heard this, I was in yoga teacher training with Mark Whitwell in December 2012. I didn’t know what it meant then, but the past few weeks have been teaching me exactly what I heard almost four years ago.
I have a brother in the prison system and it has come to the point in his case where the judge will decide his sentence. A sentence—something that we are told as children that only God can do –decide what your judgment is for the acts that you have committed against humanity, against society, but mostly, against yourself.
My heart has been broken many times over the past few weeks into fragmented mirrors that reflect why I have gotten to where I am today. Every fragment bleeding more than the one before. Facing my brother’s fate and seeing in him someone familiar has humbled me.
We both are angry at the same things that made us who we are today. Poor immigrant refugees growing up in the state of Maine, a negligent father who carries his own set of karmic setbacks, a system that is incomprehensible, a dream that seems like it was created for others, but we made different choices. I choose to cry it out, live it out, iron it out, heal it out and he chose to channel that anger by directing it toward humanity. As I watched him through tearful eyes behind plexiglass, I saw the human condition.
Love brings up everything that has been unloved. From the very depths of the heart, from the roots that sprang out of the womb to give life, from the karmic beads that transcend the five senses—all from their hiding place.
Now, more than ever, we must be tender with each other. We must learn to hold space for ourselves, and for those we love. We all want love. We all want safety. We all want a heart that is healed and that can contribute to more healing, and when we see ourselves in another, because we are all one, we must recognize that immediately and ask, “what can I do for you? how can I help you heal?”
I began my month in this way—jetting off to Maine, the most traumatic place in the world for me, the place where the worst things happened to me: to hold space for those who needed my strength; who needed my light in order to see their own; who needed all the love in my sea to fill their well; and beyond my bleeding heart, I saw my purpose.
Love brings up everything that has been unloved in all of us, and it is our responsibility not only to ourselves, but to the entire human race—to heal.
Nya Alemayhu is a yoga teacher based in Washington, D.C. Nya began her physical asana practice in 2004 and teaching in 2013. Nya believes each of us is on a quest to return to wholeness, she is grateful for the opportunity to assist along that journey. She can be found at Georgetown Yoga, S3 Active at Union Market DC and for private instruction and can be reached at Nya@YogaWithNya.com.