Yoga teacher Tatiana Forero Puerta, author of Yoga for the Wounded Heart, shares what she’s learned about trauma, clearing emotional patterns, and finding a vision for the future.
If at the age of 20 you would’ve asked me to imagine my life 15 years in the future, I wouldn’t have been able to give you an answer. I couldn’t see my life in those terms. When I looked into my future then, I simply saw a field of blackness; my potential was not just obfuscated—it was inaccessible. This is what trauma does: It blinds us. One of the effects of deep suffering, especially during childhood, is that it can rob us of our vision.
I lost my father back in my homeland of Bogotá, Colombia, when I was eight years old. The last time I saw him, he knelt at the doorstep of our apartment and gave me a tight squeeze, consoling me as I cried. He assured me he would be back from his business trip in three days’ time, but on his way home his car was hit head-on by a drunk driver. My father and three of his co-workers lost their lives that night. He was 36.
The last time I saw my mother, I was 14. I held her and stroked her balding head, and when I kissed it, I remember feeling as though I were kissing a baby’s head; it was so soft, so innocent. My mother, emaciated and childlike after a short, brutal battle with pancreatic cancer, took her last breaths in my arms. She was 40.
“If you’re seeing this, it means you have a father. I had one too. He’s was a brilliant chemist of a top firm in NJ. Seen him twice my entire life. I’m thankful he made me. Truly! As much I longed to see him more as a kid, The Universe knew what I needed and having him more fully in my life could’ve been more damaging. Who knows? Doesn’t matter. What I do know it that’s it’s perfect – as is – and I wouldn’t want it any other way. I wouldn’t be me otherwise. So, today, I’m not simply offering up some generic “Happy Father’s Day” to all fathers. Because being a “Father” takes very little skill, 3 minutes behind a school bleacher at age 15-16 (some start younger than that) – if we’re keeping it real like adults. I’m raising the bar. Elevating the standard. I’m unwilling to continue to celebrate the bare minimum. Honoring men with zero, or little connection to their children and send money like they’re paying a car note. In and out, when it suits them, like a revolving door at a hotel. Instead, I’m standing up to SALUTE ALL DADS! Men who are there, present and CONSISTENT for their children (and being with Mom is not a requirement to be available for your baby). MEN who have taken up the mantle to raise another man’s child (that they left behind), and became Dad for them. I stand up and SALUTE ALL MOMS doing double duty as BOTH parents. I was a single dad …