we can do hard things
I used to hate yoga. I mean, I liked the idea of it, but to actually stay present for a whole hour focusing on my breath and repetitive poses seemed...well...boring. The handstand poses that seem to last forever are hard. The long, drawn out stretches that my body doesn't seem to want any part of are challenging. The clearing of my mind seems uncomfortable. And backbends? Well...they are just stupid.
Don't get me wrong, I know there are many great benefits to the practice. And I am finding that, as with everything else, it's more of a training of my mind then it is my body. Because when I actually focus on getting through the challenges and sitting with the discomfort my body feels while holding the same pose for what seems like a lifetime, something slightly shifts inside. It's the not-so-gentle reminder that I can sit with hard shit and not feel like I am losing my mind. Or if I do, that's ok because I can experience things that are not easy and I am still here. Somewhere in the mess of it all, it's still me. I can push myself through the discomfort, fall apart and put myself back together. I have done it before.
And I know you have too.
It's sometimes how we survive. It sometimes how we just get through the day. Knowing we have been here a million times before. Knowing we will be here again. And knowing that no matter how uncomfortable things feel, we can just sit with that and be OK. Even if it feels like we're not.
And knowing that feels good most of the time.
And when it doesn't, it's generally because I feel like I am falling back into old patterns of coping. One's that have deep roots and are hard to unlearn. The strong pull to run away from my issues, distract myself from the bullshit, stay quiet so that I don't create waves. The impulse to put you first while ignoring my needs, to shift into someone you might like better, to look the other way instead of confront your disrespect. The desire to throw myself into meaningless work to stay busy, not get enough sleep, eat way too much ice cream and binge watch Netflix until I fall asleep in the clothes I have been wearing for the last two days. It's not a pretty sight.
But fortunately, those times are far and few between these days. I have learned and even embraced my voice. I know what I need from you and what I can give you and I am all about the balance. I am strong enough to support you and vulnerable enough to let myself lean on you. I can communicate my needs so that you will never have to guess what makes me happy. Or sad. I eat well, sleep plenty and spend lots of time with the people that I love. I am loyal and fierce and dedicated to a drama free little existence. My boundary game is strong and don't have much time if yours is not, especially when it affects me. I have created a life, that most of the time, feels pretty insulated from the outside world...and that's the way I like it.
But there is always a wildcard in the group. A sideswipe you weren't counting on. A sucker punch you didn't see coming. A rug pulled out from underneath you when you had your back turned. And unfortunately, there probably always will be.
I know you get it.
You can't love without being hurt. You can't experience the beauty without seeing the darkness. You can't step into something new and give it a half ass effort and expect it to work out. Whether it's a relationship, a new friendship, a job, or...eh... a new yoga pose.
It just doesn't work like that. The more you put yourself out there, the more you risk. And as hard as it may be, I'd rather have a lifetime stepping into new things than years of playing it safe just to avoid the discomfort. I wish I could tell you it gets easier. I wish I could tell you that it all works out. But really, all I can tell you is to push through what makes you want to you give up. It's an inner game. You are just playing against yourself on this one.
So pick yourself up. Brush yourself off. Take a deep breath and try again.