I have mentioned (I assume) that I have begun doing yoga.
Things I love about yoga… building strength and flexibility without pounding workouts… calm, relaxed environment, the non-competitiveness of it – you only do what you are capable of doing.
Things I don’t love about yoga… the frou frou “bonding with the universe” stuff.
But… it’s OK, I can deal with it. It’s not that I find it offensive, just a little silly.
So in yesterday’s yoga class, which was deep stretch, we were holding a pose for a long time, which, if you have ever done it, you understand can provide quite a lot of sensation (pain!) after a while. And the teacher was talking, as she is wont to do, and telling us to let the thoughts and feelings in and let them go, etc. Which, I think is good advice in general for things… people should let go of more stuff, in my opinion.
But then she said something about all the negative thoughts that we build up over time and how (I’m paraphrasing here) we all need to come to the realization that we are all perfect exactly as we are.
That one kind of stuck in my brain… and I started noodling it around (because I’m not really good at the whole “empty your mind” thing). And I realized that “Perfect the way you are” is exactly what I DO NOT want to be thinking.
I am not in any way shape or form “perfect”.
As someone who does not believe in a life after death scenario, I think that I have only one shot on this earth… one trip through to make it right.
As such, I am constantly trying to better myself. Be more loving, accepting, patient, calm, wise, healthy, etc. When I cash in my chips, I hope that I will feel good about the person that I have been during my time on this planet.
So to be telling everyone that they are “perfect just the way they are”… well… no.
People are full of anger, and hatred and bile and are self absorbed and selfish. (no, not all people)… Those people are not perfect… they need work!
I have all those traits too… I work a lot on trying to keep their expression to a minimum.
So I was thinking about what it really means to be “perfect just the way you are” and I think a much better way to express that sentiment is that everyone is worthy…
I am worthy of being a better person. I am worthy of trying my best to resist anger and hatred. I am worthy of taking care of my body and health in the best fashion I know how. I am, simply by the act of my existence, worthy of the effort.
Every human being… no matter how vile they might seem… is worthy of the chance to become better than they are.
It makes me sad when people say they are worthless or useless. Because they are not. No one is. IF they feel like they are not living up to their potential, well that’s the time when they are MOST WORTHY of making the effort to be what they want to be!
I have done the self-loathing thing. I have had low self esteem. I have been miserable and sure that I was worth nothing and no one could ever love me – especially I could not love myself!
I’m not sure exactly when that turned around… but I have to be honest… it’s been YEARS since I have thought bad things about myself. I mean, sure, I acknowledge that I could always be better… but that doesn’t make the place I am in now bad.
And this, my friends, is what happens when you sit for five minutes holding on to your feet with your face pressed into your knees. All this stuff comes up… and sometimes, it’s good!