At the start of every class, my yoga instructor will start by asking us to find our “intention” for our time on our mats. Today’s stretchy version of hell was brought to us by the young gent who all the ladies seem to appreciate and spend extra time prepping themselves, their outfits, and even their bodies for. I personally prefer the Russian woman because she kicks my ass and takes zero prisoners during her class. He….well, he has a more gentle approach. (Probably why his class is always wall to wall sweaty assholes and there’s usually only about 5 of us suckers in her class–I digress)
It was “intention time”. Typically mine land somewhere between “I want to relax” and “I dedicate my practice to finding peace in my heart”. Today, before I gave it any thought…my intention leaped out at me. I had barely bowed by third eye to my fingers and it came screaming into my head at a quiet whisper: forgive.
Who do I need to forgive? I don’t hold onto much anger. At least I didn’t use to. I only held onto it if holding on prevented me from being hurt again. But I wasn’t angry at anyone. I couldn’t think of anyone who had hurt me, was still hurting me.
I’ve been hurting. I’ve been hurting for a long time and I thought I understood why I was hurting and who was hurting me. As I bowed to my hands I began to cry. Right there on my damn mat, in the middle of dimly lit room, filled with sweaty ass strangers, and gentle but quirky modern music set as the backdrop for my mental breakdown.
I need to forgive myself.
I’ve been so angry.
A little over a year ago I found out I was pregnant. I kept it to myself, went to the doctor, took all the tests. I even recorded myself when they called to confirm the news. (Everyone records the dad finding out) I recorded me and my dog finding out. I didn’t tell anyone. I wanted to tell my husband first. I planned how I was going to tell him. I couldn’t believe we were able to get pregnant right away. I bought things, surprises, ways to tell him. I bought my (step) daughter a special gift for when I told her. I way over did it, of course. This was my first rodeo. Halloween came and went–I didn’t drink because, you know “sober driver” wink wink. My doctor ran more test to be sure.
A little less than a year ago I found out I wasn’t pregnant anymore.
A year ago I found out I most likely never would be again.
I gave away everything I bought. Well, almost everything. I deleted the video. Gave away the books. Donated the life-size teddy bear. Today I realized how angry I’ve been at myself. Today I realized I can’t stretch, run, yoga, travel, drink, work, stress my way back to happiness. I have to find a way to forgive myself for this absolute failure of nature. Forgive myself for the way I planned and executed my life. (And I don’t mean that I would trade my life to do it differently) I need to be forgiven for absolute heart break my own body has caused. The finality of all my unanswered plans and dreams.
So this is where I’ve been, in case you wondered. My life is happy. But this sadness comes in unexpected waves. Sometimes I grant myself total relief from even my own judgement and allow myself to be human and fragile. Its these unexpected waves that run me over.
I know there is so much more to come in this life. I’m doing all the right things to get better. I could write a book on self-love and self-care. I’m not sure how to forgive myself. But I know that my practice today turned into something unexpected. I spent the first 5 minutes crying on my mat among strangers and spent the last 10 minutes the same. They say you should focus on your breathing during yoga. It helps to center you to what your body and soul need. As I sat there, breathing in and out tears, I focused on loving my whole self. After awhile, I was able to open my eyes and stand up.
I don’t know what forgiveness will look or feel like, I just know that if I were trying to forgive someone I love, I would be so much better at it. If a friend came to me I would tell her, “Oh my God, you are not at fault, don’t do this to yourself, you are perfect in this imperfect life!” I’ll let you know when I finally get there with myself. Until then, I’ll keep doing my wine+yoga+travel+work+writing+music+family+running therapy that should eventually lead to forgiven.
And there’s always music when words fail. Kesha released this song only a couple months before I needed it.