Last night was a bit of an insomnia-fueled fiasco (more on that below), so I spent the entire day today looking forward to my double-header of Yin yoga and Vinyasa flow tonight. Rebalance and all that. I had done Yin yoga once before (during TT), and loved that little taste of it, so was very much looking forward to a full class’ worth tonight. Oh my god–it was amazing. We concentrated on the spine and back openers tonight, which involved digging blocks and tennis balls right into all of those sweet spots from the neck down to the sacrum that (for me at least) hold a lot of tension. It felt like a massage. I walked out of there feeling brand new. After all that relaxation, I headed up to a nice, sweaty Vinyasa flow, taught by Goldie Kaufenberg, who I had not yet had the pleasure of experiencing. Like Caitlyn (one of the training teachers), she offered up these great, unique flows. Most impressive was the attention she managed to pay to each student in the huge class of about 120. Case in point: I appear to have tweaked the back of my right knee. I know that I need to be smart and lay off of it, so as not to inflict further damage. But it’s hard not to go for it in class, and, in all honesty, there’s a bit of ego in it as well. Pigeon has always been a natural pose for me. But tonight, I went down for a few seconds and could feel the back of my knee crunching. Frustrated, I backed out of it and sat up, re-extending my right leg. Within seconds, Goldie was right there, asking if I felt okay, and telling me to leave it alone. That bit of personal attention in such a large class was extremely impressive. It’s no wonder she has such a great reputation.
As for the insomnia: For TT, we have to read a couple of “free-reading” books and write a report on them. I’m reading Yoga and the Quest for the True Self by Stephen Cope (love it!). Like so many other things since this training began, this book has been oddly spot-on with the things that are going on in my own life. Last night, I had an extremely honest and long-time-coming conversation with my friend J. about our relationship, some things that have happened in the past, and the reasons behind why I’ve made the choices I’ve made. I said some difficult things, and I had to face up to the fact that my decisions have affected (and perhaps even hurt) others. But it also felt good to be able to just put it all out there and have such an honest exchange. With everything that has happened the past few weeks, it was also a revelation to realize that despite the fact that J. has, perhaps more than any other guy in my life, been privy to the real me, good, bad, and otherwise, he also really, genuinely cares about and believes in me, despite all of my flaws and easily-misconstrued actions.
So, here’s the thing: I’m not delusional or anything, but I am a creative person. Because of that, I think that my view of the world is sometimes colored differently than others. I like to look at the brighter sides of life and gloss over the nitty-gritty. I actually like this quality of mine to an extent, but the bottom line is that sometimes you have to be honest and look at the black and white ramifications of your actions and why you’re doing what you’re doing. Essentially, this was the impetus of the conversation J. and I had last night. And it felt good. After having it, I read the following passage in Yoga and the Quest for the Self, which really resonated with what I was experiencing in our interactions (and everything else I’ve faced up to in the past few weeks since this journey started):
… however painful the truth may be, its recognition is accompanied by a visceral sense of relief. The body likes living in reality. Stepping down on the solid ground of reality always feels better than living in delusion. It may be painful, but there is life in it, energy in it, and, like the ground, it holds us up in a way that delusion does not. ‘Only reality is wholly safe.’”
I was feeling good after this conversation with J. for pretty much the reasons discussed in this quote. After our chat ended, I was all pumped up, and unable to sleep. My mind started wandering around, at first happily, but then it stumbled into some darker places. By the time I finally fell asleep at 3:45, I’d managed to work myself up into a bruised state of sadness and hurt. I got stuck on the guy I was dating before this all started. My thoughts weren’t new, but I’ve been able to avoid them for the past couple of weeks, so they hit me hard, as thoughts like this can only do in the darkest hours of the night. I was overwhelmed and nauseated by the rejection and loss of it all anew. By the fact that this relationship is over, that this person is gone from my life. That there will be no resolution, no second chances. That I had fallen in love with someone who didn’t love me back. As I’ve written previously, I know that feeling hurt like this is the shadow side of loving … and I can accept that. I suppose it was still worth it in the end. But the moments when you have to face up to this stuff still suck. And then, for me at least, it turned into a bout of self-flagellation about why I was spending my energy dwelling on this person who is gone and berating myself to banish any thoughts of it from my head. Viscous cycle.
With all of this still on my mind, I read this quote in an article today: Universal assignments come in many forms. Maybe you’re guided to the relationship that brings up all your shit so that you have to finally heal your fear. And, you know, I think that applies to the above situation. For as much as I’ve hurt the past few weeks, there’s no doubt that this guy cracked me open. I don’t know why it was him–it seems like it could have (and should have) happened with other people who I was dating for longer or more serious with. But, I guess he came around at the right time for whatever reason. And for as much as I’ve had my difficult moments with all of this, there’s also a part of me that’s grateful: All of this compelled me to take stock, to make bold, decisive moves, to live up to some hard facts about who I am and why I do the things I do. Things are changing … things that had to change. I’m changing in ways that I know will lead me to more love and more fulfillment. So if I have to go through a few painful moments to get there, well, so be it.