Monday, May 17, 2010

Feeling Better

I think getting all that stuff out in the last post was very helpful! You always hear that it's unhealthy to bottle up your emotions, and I think it's SO true!  Of course, that doesn't mean I should scream and yell and throw things, but there's a happy medium between the two.
Like journaling and/or blogging about it!

An interesting thing happened over the weekend.  Even though I'm still carting around 5 pounds of water weight due to That Time Of The Month ("I enjoy being a girl"  NO I DO NOT!!!!), I feel lighter.  There are a few things I can attribute this to.  On Saturday night, after a highly enjoyable day and a nice evening walk with Hubby and the kids through downtown Palo Alto (and playing with the iPad at the Apple store.  Don't laugh, it was the most crowded spot on the strip!  We're hardly the ONLY geeks!), I went to bed feeling bloated, yucky, and miserable.  And y'know what?  I told my husband about it.  I told him my fears about, well, everything I wrote in the last entry.  And he stroked my hair and told me I was beautiful and that he loved me and I felt...better.  Because he meant it.  And in the morning, the kids came into our room and snuggled with me on the bed.  They don't care what I weigh.  And I came downstairs and the dog started wagging her tail when she saw me.  SHE doesn't care what I weigh, either!
I also told myself that I was going to take care of ME.  I avoided bread and pasta yesterday, not just because I think it will help me lose weight, but to see it I would feel better.  And y'know what?  I did.  I DO! I paid very careful attention to what and how much I ate, instead of just shoveling it down.  I also went to a GREAT yoga class!  At a fairly new studio that has NO MIRRORS! I LOVE that!  Usually when I'm taking a class I'm looking at myself and disparaging my fat.  But because I can't see myself, I'm actually focused on the poses and how they FEEL.
Huh.  What a concept!
I'm also realizing that, aside from the free class I'm teaching my kids' therapists, I don't really want to teach yoga right now.  I want to be a student, to let other people, who are much more knowledgeable than I am, teach me. To really take my time and LEARN. Because I think yoga, both the physical practice and the philosophy, is going to play a huge role in my life from now on, and I don't want to just skim the surface.  People spend their lives studying and living the principles, and I want that.  I feel like I'm a preschooler when it comes to yoga.  I used to feel I wasn't ready to teach because I hadn't "mastered" the asanas.  Now I realize how much I didn't, and don't, know.
For example, what does non-violence mean?  Isn't it different for everyone?  I mean, sure, not killing people is a good start.  But does it necessarily mean veganism?  For some, yes.  For others, not so much. For me, it means trying to find basic humanity, even in people who are monsters (who DO kill and hurt others) or are simply annoying (*cough-cable news-TMZ-cough*).
And empathy.  A few weeks ago I saw an interview with Carl Rove.  Now, let me just say, I am NOT a fan. In fact,  before this interview, I was convinced that he was Evil Personified. But then he talked about his mom committing suicide, and suddenly he wasn't the Anti-Christ, he was simply a man.  One who has suffered and is deeply flawed.  And I sat for a while afterward, marveling at how I could feel so much empathy for this man, whom I see as having done so much to hurt so many. Does it make me better than him?  No.  But it makes me a better person than I had been a few minutes earlier.  It makes me start to see the kind of people that maybe G-d intends for us to be.
See, I don't think we are here simply to suffer and get into Heaven.  I think G-d wants more for and from us than that.  I believe that He loves us more than we, as puny little humans, can possibly comprehend.  Maybe if we take the love we feel for our kids and multiply it by a few billion we can get an inkling. His love and compassion are infinite. I, like many others, have asked why He lets such suffering exist.  Perhaps it's because WE let it exist!
There comes a time, as a parent, when we have to let our kids make their own mistakes.  When we have to stop running to the rescue and let them pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and discover their own strength.  And it is SO HARD! But we do it.
And if G-d is the Ultimate Parent, isn't that what He (or She!) is doing?
G-d isn't the one bringing the pain, WE are!  And we blame Him.  And because He is, well, G-d, he doesn't get all angry and defensive and start flipping tables over in restaurants.  He lets us.  He takes what we dish out.  Because He loves us, and He knows that, eventually, either in this life or the next, we will know better.

I know that not everyone believes in G-d, and that's OK!  And we certainly don't all believe in the same way, or even in the same things.  I hope that everyone who reads this will feel welcome.  Personally, I don't think there is any One True Belief.  Non-believers?  OK by me! Christian, Jewish, Muslim,Wiccan, Sikh, Bhuddist, Pagan, all A-OK in my book!
We all share this planet for the brief time we're here.  Isn't it kinda ridiculous to spend that time arguing over who is "right" and who is "wrong?"  Can't we just be good neighbors?
There is a passage by the late, great, sorely-missed Douglas Adams in one of his "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" books, in which he talks about the people of Earth at a specific point in time: approximately 2,000 years after "they nailed a fellow to a tree for suggesting they be nice to one another."  In other words, us.  Now.
And sometimes, yes, it IS that simple, if we put our pride on the back-burner and see the basic humanity in all of us. 
Do I have hope that we, as the dwellers of this planet, will reach that point?  Honestly, I really don't.  If anything, we seem to be getting WORSE.  But I have hope that I can, and I am the only person I have any control over.
To quote another favorite writer, "I can't change the world, but I can change the world in me."  (U2, "Rejoice.")

(Plus, I highly doubt that those who reach enlightenment worry overmuch about the size of their thighs!)

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