I struggle with being real.
Now this might sound absurd as there is no doubt that I am completely and utterly real. As flesh and bone as the person beside me and with real emotions and actions that have a real effect on other real people in this world.
Now that we’ve cleared that up- why is it that I say I struggle? Because as much as I am okay with accepting the realities of others- their amazing accomplishments, their beautiful flaws, and everything in between; I struggle with my own reality.
I seem to have cultivated this mentality where if I don’t acknowledge it- it doesn’t exist. And so, I refuse to give any negative thoughts or emotions the time of day and continue to keep that 10% of me that is murky and dark unknown to others.
However, as I’ve been going through yoga teacher training, I’ve come to realize that maintaining this image of having it all put together is exhausting. Moreover, it prevents me from making connections with other, equally real, people.
In a world where the typical response to “how’s it going?” is “good. and you?”, how often are we speaking the truth? We tell ourselves that the person posing the question doesn’t actually want to hear about how I am so we mask it with a quick and blunt “good”. In reality, yes, perhaps they couldn’t care less to begin with, but think how you would react if someone answered your “How are you?” with a “Actually, I’m having a terrible day.” You would probably have at least a speck of respect, some ounce of compassion, or even an open ear, n’est pas? I’d like to think that only the sick and soulless would even fathom a thought like “Whoa, who asked her for her life story?”
Also, how well can we connect when all of our conversations are superficial. “You’re good? Good! Me too. I’m good too.” How much of ourselves can we really invest in to a conversation about nail colours when inside, all that we can think about is our fight with our partner or the terrible news we just heard about our family member? The more we face our struggles and the more open we are about it- the more they are rendered powerless.
As we go through life, we collect negative experiences and for some strange reason we harbour them. We pack them away into our trusty backpack, keeping them away from others and by our side like treasures. In reality, when you have the courage to drop the heavy pack from your shoulders, you’ll have the freedom to move and groove with others who have also decided that this pack simply isn’t worth carrying. You can feel your shoulders shake as deep rolling laughter overwhelms your body and you can raise your arms in victory.