The good thing about hot yoga is that nobody can see you cry. That being said, I don’t mind people seeing me cry, but I feel that a mid twenty male crying amongst 30 or so females clad in skin-tight lycra is likely to be frowned on by society. Certainly I would have had trouble convincing the owners of the studio that it wasn’t some weird sex thing 😛
But back to the story, the good thing about hot yoga is that nobody can see you cry. This is something I found out four months ago now while trying a short stint at a local yoga studio. As always at the end of the sessions, while everybody breathed a sigh of relief and sweat flowed freely and unencumbered, we all engaged in a small visualisation meditation. Normally I do not do well with visualisation and so was just sitting, trying to clear my mind. The class was encouraged to look at a true version of themselves. A version with all their flaws and defects. suddenly in my mind, there I was. I looked at myself for a few seconds, flaws and all a moment of peace swept over me, and I found myself saying (in my mind of course) “I love you” (to myself, not to any of the 30 or so lycra clad ladies.) Just to write it sounds corny, the kind of stuff a bad lifetime movie might be made of, but it is what happened. In that moment I felt a tremendous excellence of myself. I was ok as I was. It did not matter that I was not perfect, I was ok as I was. I let go of striving to be more than I am, to be something I am not, to be what I think other people want me to be. I was just myself, and I loved myself.
Of course this all sounds very corny. It is the kind of insight into somebody elses life I would have been painfully self-conscious to learn about five years ago. Indeed this kind of inner love and forgiveness (for one can not exist without the other) will only ever sound like so many words, floating around in an irrelevant world, until you need them. Until the things that you have clung to for meaning slowly dissolve despite your ever more desperate grasping. Until the reason you saw for living steps ever so slightly to the left and lets you see the hollow void that it was covering. Until you stop looking to other things for meaning you can not truly see what you already have. And what this is, in the end, is of course ourselves. With all our faults, with all our problems and issues we are all we truly have. And strangely, that is ok.
On the face of it it seems lonely. But it is not. It is no more lonely than you have been for your whole life. You are still the exact same person. You still have the same number of friends. In fact, dare I say it, you have one more. I will go out on a limb here and risk crossing over into the truly soppy and say that once you accept and love yourself you are more of a friend to yourself than anyone else will ever be.
So what has brought all this on? Well the other sentence I considered starting this blog with is “So my car is going to start charging me 160 bucks an hour as a therapist”. I have taken to breaking down whenever I am driving by myself. Thankfully there is not yet a law about it but there damn well should be. What is causing these Automobile therapy sessions. Well surprisingly it is glimpsing again this self-love. This acceptance. For me it is more than just self-love, it is a sense of being happy with who I am. For years I strove to be better, to be somebody I was not. I developed an idea that I was not good enough as I was. This has really stuck with me through many years. It is only now that I seem able to truly stop. To truly look at myself and say, no, you are ok right now. You are not doing anything wrong. Be happy as you are. And it is a wonderful feeling, a feeling that brings me to tears.
In the end I face a scary journey. A journey to a place that nobody can truly know. I may not have to take it yet but I will have to take it. But once you truly accept and love yourself you are not alone on this journey. You are with the person who you truly should be with. The person who loved you the best even through all the years that you ignored them, through all the years you tried to convince them that they were doing something wrong. So it is nice not to be alone.
Well I feel that I have fairly poorly expressed what was, in my mind, quite a profound post. However on the theme of the evening I am ok as I am and so is my blog, so enjoy it or ” well you are a …” (Everybody but Caz may ignore that that last line :P).
Beautifully expressed as always Jez. You have an amazing ability to articulate what you’re thinking and feeling and I, and know so many others, really appreciate it. On a lighter note, I’ve been thinking about your last line all day. Love it.
Haha, it was a good one. Thank you for your kind words. I have been very fortunate to end up with a wonderful group of friends, thanks for everything 🙂
Thank you for another truly enlightening post, Jero. To put down in words such strong emotions takes a certain talent- one that I’m trying to find at the moment in writing this response. Your words make me stop, breathe, and accept. I just wanted to thank you for writing such beautiful things, Jero. Much love.
Thanks jess. I am glad you liked it. I say that I write the blog for myself, which is true, but it is very nice to know that other people get something, whatever it is, from what I have to say. Great to hear from you. Hopefully manage to catch up with you guys soon.