Everyone’s an asshole to somebody

Yes,  even I am included in that statement.  I know, I know…hard to believe right?

I’ve been trying my whole life to be well-liked by everyone.  And, I’m finally sick of it.  Not that I want to be a cold-hearted you-know-what to all the people I encounter…

…But let’s face it: 

1) Not everyone thinks jokes about cancer and pedophiles are funny.  Strange but true.

2) Not everyone wants to be in the company of someone looking to just have loud, good-old-fashioned obnoxious fun. 

3) I just learned that even if I’m drinking wine…(which I once thought made me elegant and classy) that, if I drink enough  of it, it will make me (and I will take a leap here and go so far as to say YOU too) anything BUT elegant and classy.  Ok, unrelated…SORT OF, but still a good thing to know.

4) My definition of well-liked is a little bit skewed because when I think of being well-liked, I think of being the best.  Which, to my disappointment, I found is impossible.  (lol, just kidding.)  It’s only a disappointment to my Ego. 

And, what a relief it was to finally figure out that impossibility.  There is no way I can be the funniest, smartest, prettiest, bravest, healthiest, most talented, honest, compassionate, caring, kind, loving, nurturing, giving, hottest and best scrabble player out there to you all. 

Phew. 

And, sometimes I’m in a bad mood.  I just had to face it:  I am a human too.  Which means, that I honk my horn at your slow-ass in traffic, and if you’ve made me angry I have probably passively aggressively farted while walking by you.  (sucker!)

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Shine My Heart Through the Gates of My Arms?

I’ve been practicing yoga seriously for about three years now.

(Yes,seriously.)  I can perform all the basic asanas…the Warriors, Boats,

let me show you EXACTLY where it is...

any angle, etc.  I am so good at engaging my mula bandha…(if you need help, I could help you do it too.)  My lions breath is a force to be reckoned with–especially if I drink a coffee right before class.  And, I can practice a whole hour without paying attention to YOU, right next to me.  (But you definitely should be modifying that side angle…you’re DUMPING ON YOUR HEART, FOR PETE’S SAKE)

Let’s see…what else am I good at in yoga?  Oh, I can follow directions really well.  I mean, I know my left from my right…unlike the idiot in front of me.  And I’m pretty sure those around me feel uplifted and inspired by the flawless engagement of ujjayi pranayama.

I mean, I’m a YOGINI, everyone…

But, the other day in class, the instructor said, “Now, shine your heart through the gates of your arms…”  And I was like, “whoa!  what does that mean Mr. Yogi?”  I found myself frantically scanning the room as if it were my first time…and then I realized, oh, he means Updog.  Well, I’m really good at that too.

this is NOT me in updog. it is a DOG in updog.

Why a monogomous LTR? Well, I’ll tell you why

A few months ago, the person I thought who was going to be my life partner asked me, “Why do you even WANT a life partner?  Why is that so important to you?”  The question stopped me dead in my tracks…I was thinking, “How can you even ask that?!”  <jerk!>  I know, my feelings were just hurt…good question!

Well, I was so shocked, I couldn’t come up with a better reason other than, I just want it.  And, I don’t think I’m the only one in the world who wants it.  (obviously.)  There are many benefits to having a partner in crime…companionship, safety, someone to share not only living expenses…but living spaces as well.  There is a part in every human (unless you’re a sociopath) who craves the not only the physical intimacy, but the emotional and intellectual intimacies as well and there is something special about sharing all three with one person.  When I thought of these reasons…I realized that they all have one thing in common, which is how having a relationship serves ME.   Sure it’s mutually beneficial…I mean, the other person is experiencing companionship, security and all that jazz too. 

But I kept going back to how special it is to share a life with somebody…what about it is so special?  And, after a long time, I think I’ve figured it out…FOR EVERYBODY!  No, just kidding.  But here’s what I came up with: 

(It’s really beautiful, I think…so be prepared.)

run really fast if you see this guy

From my understanding of yogic philosophy, everything in the Universe is One.  The separation we experience in life/the world is an illusion.  In other words, this is not real.  (But if a murderer is chasing you, please run because we do still die when killed.)  The word yoga means to yolk…or to merge with your true Self, hence, to the divine and experience real Love (or universal identification).  Now, it seems to me that all religion has this background of Love and forgetting about the individual or ego in order to become selfless and serve and all that good ‘n holy stuff. 

Sounds beautiful, right?  Right.  Now, somehow we as people have a real talent for distorting all this stuff to fit our own needs.  And, if everyone not only knew this, but understood it and lived it, the world would be a totally different place.  (But, the world doesn’t even exist as we know it, right?)  Ugh, could this be more complicated? 

Although I have a knowledge of this philosophy, I cannot pretend to truly understand it and live by it.  I mean, really, who can?  Unless you’re Jesus or some other enlightened being…and even then, I would have my doubts.

So what does all this talk on universal love have to do with life partnership?  Well, as it stands right now, we humans (for the most part) cannot possibly conceive of living life this way.  However, we have an opportunity I believe, to experience this type of Love on a smaller scale, one we can relate to.  And that, folks, is the LTR (long-term relationship, if you don’t obsessively read personal ads or missed connections on Craigslist.  Which, by the way, I would highly recommend to everybody because boy are these people hilarious!) 

Painting by Alex Grey

I imagine that in an ideal partnership, despite the fact that I will benefit from certain factors, there is an opportunity to experience true identification with another.  (Not to be read as enmeshment, people.)      Meaning that I have an opportunity to see and create divinity in action.  I can create a relationship that is not just about me and what I want, but about the other person as well…and together, we work and strive for something greater than each other.  It seems that a partnership is a way to experience this universal love thing that eludes me on a daily basis.  I mean, if this is love on a smaller scale, maybe I can work up from there.  Or maybe not, who knows?

Sounds beautiful, right?  It surely does.  But, let’s not forget all the actual work that goes into creating this.  The decisions, compromises, personalities and daily obligatory duties we have to fulfill…makes it a bit trickier than one might think.

Odd places I’ve found yoga, maybe you have too

Lately, I have been branching out a bit.  And I don’t mean stretching my arms out in tree pose, letting them move with nature’s wind…feeling my own divinity as it mingles with the Orgasmic Universal Love.  (Errr…I mean Cosmic Universal Love.)  What I mean is exploring what the terrestrial world has to offer.  (Some might call this, REALITY…but let’s not get into semantics here.) 

And, with this exploration, I’ve realized that yoga can be found in many mediums the world has to offer.  Here is a short list I’ve compiled:

1)  The anime series GTO (Great Teacher Onizuka)  He is an incredibly horny, 22-year-old, ex-motorcycle gang leader who decides to become a middle school teacher.  Academics isn’t his strong suit…so he just teaches life lessons.

2)  My catholic, student therapist.  Because she’s a student, she doesn’t actually get paid to listen to me.  But she does anyways and offers sometimes valuable insights to the way I’ve created my life. 

3)  Drinking and dancing.  Can YOU think of a better way to be in the moment? 

4)  Writing.  A way I can express myself and not actually care what someone else thinks about me.  In other words, I can be me…really me.  Not who somebody else thinks I am or how I want somebody to think of me as. 

I guess what I’m trying to say, is that yoga is not just meant as studying the scriptures, chanting, praying, practicing in class or smiling at someone when you really want to say Eff off. 

Until next time…

OUCH! That hurt…now I know you love me!

Okay, I think this might be a tough one…but I will give it my best shot.

Part 1:  The Upside of Abuse

I know what you're thinking.

Waaaiiit!!  Don’t go yet!  There really is an upside (at least for me…and hopefully others as well.)  Most of us who have been abused are extremely intuitive (almost psychic!)  Afterall, we have spent a good portion of our lives trying to read people as quickly as possible (how is daddy feeling today?  what can I do to not get hurt?)  In fact, just by a quick glance at your face and body I can readily detect how you feel and, to an extent, what type of person you are.  I know if I can make a particular joke to you and if you’ll think it’s funny or obscene and annoying.  This is very useful for all of life’s little transactions.  If I know how to interact with you to get the best result, not only will I be happier, but so will you!  A strange gift from such a tragic situation. 

 

We are survivors!  It takes strength and courage to survive abuse.  As children, there is no way to escape it.  We are stuck in the situation and must endure.  I mean, sure, we have our issues…but who doesn’t?  Even people who never experienced abuse have their shit…it’s just a little different.  And, I am always amazed when I think of not only who I am today, but who my sisters and my mother are after everything.  Strong, competent and steadfast people are created by surviving.

Part 2:  The Struggle

He's telling her how much he loves her.

 

Now, the fine line I find myself experiencing throughout my life.  Although I’ve come to terms with what has happened when I was a child, there are definitely continuing issues I experience as an adult.  It took me a long time to figure out that I don’t have to be with someone who is abusive.  I went through boyfriend after boyfriend after boyfriend…after boyfriend…(lol…I’ve had a LOT of boyfriends.)  Finally, I had figured it out…I found myself a “man”friend.  A man who didn’t call me names, who didn’t leave a mark on my body, who was genuinely loving and caring…so, what’s the big deal?  What’s this fine line all about?  Well, I think that someone doesn’t necessarily have to be abusive for me to find a way to be abused.  OMG WTF?!?!  (When I was thinking about this I was laughing out loud because it’s so absurd!  But true!) 

Let me explain (from a personal perspective because I can’t speak for everybody):

I have developed certain thought patterns rooting back to childhood.  These include, but are not limited to the following.  1)  This [abuse] is how a man expresses love and care to me.  2)  If I can change how I [insert anything…act, dress, think, speak, feel, etc] and then this won’t continue to happen.  These thought patterns are disturbed.  They served me once upon a time in my life in order to protect me.  (Bless my mind for all it has done to help me survive.)

So, my point is, that even when I am in a loving and nurturing relationship, I can find a way to let that part of me who is so used to being hurt come out and play.  In the last relationship, this loving person was struggling with his own issues, and wasn’t sure if he wanted to be with somebody.  It went back and forth like this:

“I WANT to be with and live with you!”

“I DON’T WANT to be with and live you!”

“Ok, I want it!”

“Nevermind, I don’t!”

“YES!”

“NO!”

Oh boy, was that ever painful!  It hurt so badly to be going back and forth like that…he loves me, he loves me not!  Well, that little part of me said, “He MUST love me if he’s hurting me!”  So, yeah, I’ll stick around!  And that, everybody, is how I can find that fine little line and suffer pain and hurt from someone who is loving and caring. 

(It’s sort of like magic how we can end up in places like this!)

Part 3:  Clearing some things up

Just incase my point is being missed, I do NOT condone abuse.  Abuse will be wrong always.  No matter what.  I am only trying to examine my role in life.  And even though I allowed myself to be hurt, does NOT mean that whoever did the hurting is in right action.  This cycle has to be broken by me (by you…by whomever).  I cannot control the other person in my relationships.  Besides, those people did not hurt ME (even though they did).  It was never about me.  If a father is abusive, he is going to abuse his children…no matter who they are.  If a boyfriend is going to hurt his girlfriend…it’s not about who she is or what she does or how she dresses…it’s about HIM (or her…girls can abuse too, after all.)  Ultimately, it’s never about the victim…it’s about the abuser:  what are they getting out of it…how does it make them feel…etc.

This is strangely comforting…if it’s not about me, I can begin to heal and rework those thought patterns.