Being with what is? sometimes it sucks.

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The other day, at dance, I saw a friend of mine. I haven’t seen this friend in a couple of months and from across the space I was struck with how much his body has changed. He isn’t as big. There isn’t as much color to his skin. He doesn’t seem as strong. I was so surprised and upset by all this change that I felt confused and I think I wanted what I was seeing to have a chance to go away, so I didn’t talk to him about it on that day. But I couldn’t help but think about him throughout the next week.  I came up with a question I thought I could ask the next time I saw him, and I thought I’d ask him, “Are you well?” That might be something to say.

When I saw him again at the start of the next week’s dance, again I noticed all of these things about his body.There wasn’t as much prāṇa there as  before. Later, when I was near him at the edge of the dance floor, we exchanged a few words and in that moment, I thought the question I came up with was a bad one because he did seem well and maybe a little tired. So I didn’t really talk to him and I wondered what I could say because nothing was coming.

A little while later, I was dancing and he came over. I put my arms around the middle of him and then around his back and then around his shoulders and my hands confirmed what my eyes had seen.   His body is very different. It is changing rapidly and it is changing in a way that I don’t like.  I stood there with him and I started to cry. I couldn’t help myself. I cried because something I don’t like is happening to him and he’s someone that I love very much. I stood there wanting and wishing him to be well and to be in my life, in a healthy body, forever. And I was crying because I know that that’s not the way these things work. I continued crying because I could see that this practice of yoga that I’m so devoted to is contributing to the pain that I’m feeling. All this stuff that I do to attempt to see more clearly means that this kind of shit is more clear, too. There’s nothing to hide behind. No denial. No stuffing it down and trying not to think about it. No pretending. What I’m seeing in my friend’s body is just there. Right in front of me. In my arms.

Our whole time dancing together, I cried, and I couldn’t stop. Which was probably a crummy thing for me to do, but I couldn’t help it. He left and I cried more because I couldn’t decide if I had been duped by all this yoga, and if this is what I’m asking for, then maybe I’m in the wrong line of work because this sucks.  At the same time another part of me wondered if it is somehow a strange gift to be able to feel like this– the anger and the sadness in the clarity.

Eventually, I tired out and stopped crying and the music got quieter and more still, too. I moved down to the floor and my ten-year-old daughter came over to me and stretched out across my lap. She moved a little with the music and then slipped her wrist under my hand so I’d drag my fingers up and down her arm. And as my hands felt her healthy body, full of prāṇa and growing and changing in ways that I love, it happened all over again.

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5 thoughts on “Being with what is? sometimes it sucks.

    1. Most of the time I think so, too. that’s why I was so surprised by how much i didn’t like what I was feeling and didn’t want to feel it on this day. It was kind of like the older wiser one was nodding at me from way up high saying in a soothing voice, ‘yes, now this is part of the yoga, too.’ And I felt small and sad and not completely ready for it. I’m still not sure I’m ready for it.

  1. Hi Amanda
    i haven’t been diligently reading your blog lately and i am sorry as you pass on a wonderful true wisdom that is indeed a gift
    but this post struck me in a chord i well understand in my own life at present
    i am sitting in a hospital room and both my 16 year old daughters are here….one is the ‘patient….day 52 post bone marrow transplant after 4 years of battling with leukemia and the other…her ‘healthy’ sister….healthy in inverted commas as due to the turmoil and challenges in her life she is ‘healthy’ and suffering from an eating disorder 😦 they are having some DTT (kari the ‘healthy’ one just translated…deep talk time ……i could say a lot more….but to quote you …. being with what is….sometimes sucks

    1. Oh, man. You are in the thick of it, Liz. I’ll be thinking of you and your daughters as you make your ways on your individual paths and the one that you are all on together. Big hugs.

  2. Hi Amanda, thank you so much for sharing. I feel with you. A longtime friend of ours just passed away recently. Seeing how his body had withered I actually prayed for him to be able to let go and pass on. I was lucky enough to be there with him. I was relieved and happy and so sad at the same time. An open heart is very beautiful but also very receptive. Tears are important. And even more so not to tuck them away. Wishing your friend well. Ramona

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