Pleasure and Sorrow

The Yoga Sutras have so much guidance. If you dig deep into the practice of yoga, you’ll find that there’s much more than the physical practice. The philosophy is that the Self is like an onion – by mastering/exhausting/utilizing the physical body, we are better able to reach inside ourselves to master our mental and spiritual selves.

I keep the Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali next to my bed to remind myself to take in a sutra every now and then. Tonight’s sutra was 11.7 “Pleasure leads to desire and emotional attachment,” (p. 115). Pretty straightforward. We want more of what brings us pleasure. Yet the sutras encourage non-attachment. Reading further into this sutra, it expands on the thought that this seeking out of pleasure can actually distract us from our purpose and ultimately end in sorrow.

Having recently experienced the ending of a significant relationship, I’m coming to this with renewed perspective. What I’m gleaning from this is that seeking pleasure can cloud our judgement. That maybe the pleasure we’re seeking is not the purest form, so by being able to maintain perspective on our Self and our purpose we are better able to see how we are influencing each other’s lives.

I also recently watched Schitt’s Creek where two people who really cared for each other were not connecting on their life paths. They recognized it and, while they were sorrowful, they were able to understand that they would be able to be their fullest and brightest selves if they part and allow the other to grow and be.

I feel like this plot line is very rare. I know it is in my own life. I try so hard to make things work that just aren’t working. I have “staying power”, but I can’t remember the last time that it served me versus obligated me to something or someone for far longer than was good for either of us. I went into my last relationship knowing that I couldn’t make someone else want me. Which as he was drifting away…and I clearly saw it…I knew that when the time came I couldn’t fight it. He had built a case against us, true or not, to where he saw no other way but out. I attempted to calmly point out how the perspective could be skewed, but there was no point. If he didn’t want to see it then there was nothing that I could do but prolong the inevitable. I couldn’t do that again. There’s far more pain in staying with someone who has already left emotionally.

So now there’s space. Space to realign, hopefully better align, myself with my purpose, the person that I want to become to leave my intentional mark upon the world around me. It’s morphed so much over the past few years, and I’m happy that I’ve left space for the transformation thus far.

I will take heed of this non-attachment. I will put myself and my path first. I feel like there’s a lot left to uncover and to manifest into the beautiful life that I can feel inside of me. One day I will find a partner that wants to walk alongside me on my path, and I him. Until then, I’ll keep discovering my Self.

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2 thoughts on “Pleasure and Sorrow

  1. Tangential to your post, but that was a rather affecting incident in Schitt’s Creek history; rare, and also one of the more authentic experiences in it that made the show good. I’m back to re-watching Arrested Development lately, but did just first-time watch the whole run of SC with my family, who were re-watching it all.

    Liked by 3 people

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