I have become that kind of yoga teacher. It happened the other day. I found myself, in front of a class, talking about love with a conviction and a passion that this very practical and grounded constitution of mine doesn’t often tolerate. It was almost like I was a new convert to the religion of Love channeling a message from another realm, “If we can FEEL THE LOVE … if we can operate from A PLACE OF LOVE, then we’ll be able to CHANGE THE WORLD!” It wasn’t exactly like this, but kind of. I tried really hard to contain myself and sound sort of normal which is difficult when using inadequate words to share something that doesn’t feel normal at all. It feels like a revelation. I decided to just channel all of that love-speak through my eyes so I wouldn’t freak anyone out too much. I’m pretty sure the front row could feel it.
All of this love-business was sparked by the movie, Mud. It’s really good and it’s one of those movies that seems to get even better as time passes and the themes steep and soak and reveal themselves in that slow way. Love. At first, it doesn’t seem to be a love story. It appears to be a story of a boy becoming friends with a man. There isn’t a soundtrack that swells and it doesn’t have those sappy, cliché love story elements, but it’s very much about love.
There’s what happens in the movie and then there’s what happened in me. In the movie theater that night, sitting with a man I love very much, I came to see that there are the details of how people love and what they do because of love and then there is the feeling beneath all of that stuff. It’s like I finally understood that these are related but different things. The two of us have our details and our story and over the years, I have confused the story of how the two of us have loved with the love I feel for him. If we are getting along really well and we are connected and having good conversations, do I love him more? In the times when my feelings are hurt, or I think he has done me wrong do I have less love for him? I’m pretty sure at an unconscious level, this is the way I’ve operated. And this sucks. I would never do that to my kids. Even when they are screaming and flailing or covered in poo, I can see that we’ll get through the moment and this behavior won’t last forever. Or in the unlikely event that they do get stuck in a tantrum for the next 25 years, I’m pretty sure I’ll still love them a crazy bunch. I try to tell them that no matter what, I love them tons…because I do. I feel it. But that’s not how I’ve been with this dear man. The movie was over and we were standing there together waiting to leave, and I was so moved to finally realize that even with all that has happened between us… all the details of our story and the uncertainties that exist, I love him. If we stay together forever or even if we don’t, it is safe and perfectly good to Love him, still. This Love isn’t a measurement of how well we are communicating or if we feel connected. It’s there even when I’m really angry with him and it’s there when we are having a sweet moment. It is beyond circumstance. I can still choose Love. It sounds so cheesy, but I can’t do anything about that, because words are inadequate. It’s a simple realization, but it is so awesome and so hopeful and I feel different because of it.
So forgive me when I burst into song the next time we are in yoga class together, or if I say something about love that is so cheesy and poser-poetic that you have to fight to avoid rolling your eyes. Or maybe you’ve already been through this yourself, and you will be able to look past the details of how I express all of this and know it comes from a deep place that is open and hopeful and full of love. Maybe you feel it, too. We’ll just carry on from there with Love.