I can’t help thinking that the reason I surround myself with strong women is in the hopes that I will eventually become one, if only by osmosis.
Then I take a step back, and my logic kicks in and tells me I am already strong, that I’m one of them. But since my heart and my brain are often at odds, my heart pipes up and says, “Remember how you cried while watching The Muppets?” And I nod my head in agreement. I’ve got to give credit where credit is due. It’s not like my tear ducts will ever know a drought. They try to build up a stock pile, but then my 2-year-old will thank God for her mami during her bedtime prayers, and Bam! Tears.
Or she’ll throw a blood-curdling tantrum because I refuse to remove my shoes at her request.
When I’m faced with a situation in my life that I want to avoid, I do other things. I exercise, eat, I shop, I dance. All errands are suddenly no big deal. Everything except the exact thing that is uncomfortable for me. I’m a procrastinator. The difficulty for me is to face that situation head on, breathe into the discomfort, and evaluate life from a different angle in order to right the situation, find the answers, or work towards the solutions that I’m looking for. Achieve happiness or die trying.
A yoga teacher rubbed my back during a forward fold the other day and I felt the all-too-familiar tightening in my gut and welling of tears in the back of my throat. There is something about taking a new class, a new flow, the break in familiar routine, and simple human touch that brings up all sorts of new emotions along with the blood flow. But there is no way to avoid it. I’m there. I paid. Unless I’m willing to walk out, which I refuse, I’m stuck. Trying new positions, exploring new physical limits, even looking at a room from a different angle than I am accustomed to - upside down between twisted arms while holding my ankles - it is all a challenge. A challenge I have no other choice but to work through, breathe into. One I need to face head on.
It is in coming out of those new contortions that I feel a little dizzy, light-headed. Still reeling from the blood and oxygen and sweat that my body is busy circulating and breathing and producing, I can feel the answers I’ve made happen and, whether it was perfect or not, I’m proud that I tried. I feel so focused, at peace…strong.
In that quiet moment, my heart whispers.
Maybe I’m one of them after all.
Maybe we all are.