Not everything in my life can be related to yoga, but this topic definitely can so here goes.
About a week after my emotional meltdown, I attended a friend’s yoga class. As she expertly guided us through the asana practice, she offered options and told us to take the variation that served us best. Although those are words I have heard hundreds of times before, it was during that class I realized when I practice yoga, I get to put myself first. I mean, who knows my body, my breath, my energy better than I?
To understand why this resonated with me so much, I need to explain that my ex told me that in our relationship, both of us made me the first priority. Add to that, my sis (who I love) has unabashedly called me selfish. Now I absolutely agree that I can be stubborn and hardheaded and even selfish, but I can also be incredibly generous, thoughtful, and compromising. As the time passes since our break-up, it becomes clearer that it was probably the best thing that could happen. I am flexible in so many ways, but I should never have to change who I am for the sake of maintaining a relationship.
So yes, I’m incredibly flawed, and I have baggage (shit, I’m 44!), and I will be working on improving myself for some time. And that’s ok! I acknowledge ALL THAT! But here’s what else I know: being fiercely independent, enjoying traveling solo, and missing those whom I have loved and lost (and even getting tattoos to commemorate those folks) are not characteristics I’m willing to change for anyone. AND, nobody else can measure my level of investment or readiness for a relationship because the only person who knows that is me.
So just like on the yoga mat, I have to make the decisions that serve me best. After all, when I’m on the mat, I practice in a way that benefits my body, mind, and spirit so it makes sense for me to engage in interpersonal practices that do the same. If taking care of myself is selfish, then I suppose I am. If I don’t honor and nurture myself, how can I do it in a relationship – and I mean any relationship not just romantic ones.
I suppose a “thank you” is in order. Thanks, ex, without the tumult of the break-up, I never would have embarked on this side trip of self-exploration. For that I am truly grateful.