“This makes me feel like my body’s gonna break in half…and then die.” I told my yoga teacher tonight quite seriously, as he was helping me do a forearm stand.
“Well, that must be a terrible feeling,” he sympathized, after laughing not unkindly at my, um,descriptive language.
But see, he didn’t stop there. He didn’t tell me I never had to do it, though I know full well I sure don’t. Have to do it, I mean. He didn’t tell me that many people go on to live full and relatively happy lives without ever mastering a forearm stand.
No, instead he said something about finding the pleasure in it. He mentioned how wonderful it is to find the joy in the pain and the growth it’ll bring to me, eventually.
Oh my goodness, we Americans don’t like to wait for eventually. The exclamation point is our state of mind, or so I’ve heard. McDonalds is considered a good idea–or at least it must be, considering the sign by the golden arches that states some kind of ever growing and astronomical number of burgers that are consumed. We don’t write nearly enough letters and we text too much. There’s nothing eventual about a text and who has time for eventually, anyway?
No really, I do.
In a year’s time, I will still be a year older. Still have watched 365 moons rise, still have eaten more than enough meals, I’ll wager. I mean to say, that year will pass no matter what. So I might as well come out of the year having invested some time in a forearm stand.
Or more importantly, finding the joy in the midst of pain. Growing, growing, growing. And we all know growth doesn’t happen cause life feels good and perfect and let’s never move again, make out scene with the perfect guy, cue music and roll credits, please!
No, growth happens because we’re discontent with something. Maybe even uncomfortable. And so we move to make it better. And eventually, the joy comes bursting out of the pain like the best kind of surprise party either of us will ever know. The lights get flipped on, and we’re standing in the doorway called Pain; we stand there with our mouths wide open looking the fool, able to say one thing as we stare raw joy right in its shiny face, “I had no idea you were here.”
“I certainly am,” Joy says, “Eventually.”