Mud, Yoga, and Love

Mud. A movie by Jeff Nichols.  I loved it.
Mud. A movie by Jeff Nichols. I loved it.

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.


12 thoughts on “Mud, Yoga, and Love

  1. LOVE this post.. 🙂
    Love is supposed to be our being, our essence? It’s a hard concept to grasp.
    But I think I have felt it before, and in those moments I feel like a child who had just opened its eyes and is in awe of everything!

    1. Yes! I feel like I’ve heard about “operating from a place of love” for a really long time and maybe I’ve even approached an understanding of what that means, but it shines through so beautifully in this film and I guess all the stars aligned so I could really take it in. Love. 🙂

  2. I’m coming to think of love as a state of being. There may be fluctuations within that state, but the state itself is unchanged.(How’s that for for taking the feeling out of it? yikes) And…. I find that most yoga students don’t mind hearing a little love-talk. Sweet post – as always.

    1. Bharat, that’s it! Love is a state of being, or it can be. There’s something so lovely about having that as a connection and a touchstone to come back to. “I am angry. No, actually I’m just feeling angry. I am love. :)”

  3. I love this post. I wrote a whole book about my husband’s and my love, my realization that we would stay together even when things were difficult and hairy. In a sense, I think when I realized that no matter what (Ha! Within reason), he/I would stay, I realized I could give myself entirely. Kind of like the unconditional love you feel for your kids, I guess. Though I have to say you’re a better person than I am. I don’t think I could love L. as much after a 25-year tantrum, but maybe I’d surprise myself…

    1. A whole book about your love. That’s beautiful. There is something about dropping deeper, below the changing tide, and staying connected to what’s below even when it is stormy. It can be sort of peaceful below the surface.

  4. i have read several of your posts and am always pleasantly amazed at your ability to be open and honest about your life and feelings
    i really respect that and thank you
    i am a single mom, have a good working relationship with my ex spouse, (my kid’s dad) and although the ‘love’ is not there, have grown to like and respect his hard working and responsible ways…and know our kids have really benefitted
    i guess there are different ways to love …especially when you both put your kids first

    thanks Amanda,

    1. Hi Liz. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I find that writing this blog really helps me to become more clear about what it is I’m feeling so I’m glad that is coming through. And I think you’ve got some of that going on, too. It sounds like you have found some clarity about your role as mama and the appreciation you have for your children’s dad. What a good example you are setting for your children.

      thank you 🙂

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