I begin the week, dressed in comfortable clothing sitting cross-legged on my thin, cobalt blue yoga mat. Practicing this ancient art of postures and breathing techniques for many years, my body releases tension and my breath deepens as I close my eyes, waiting for the instructor to begin.
Laura welcomes all to class and in her kind, soothing voice she talks about how good and bad are always occurring simultaneously. Light and dark, the yin and yang of yoga and how our goal is to always find the balance between the two.
She shares a personal story about how she just found out the night before that a good friend has died. While she was texting and emailing other friends to share the details she also received a text message from her teenage daughter.
Her daughter’s message was silly and ridiculous and Laura felt her focus was on her sadness. But she took a breath and realized that her daughter’s happiness and childish way was asking her to stay present – present to laughter and light.
How often do you find yourself unable or unwilling to laugh? Do you shun the light because something dark has taken root inside of you?
I truly believe that I will never laugh again or be the fun-loving young woman who existed before my husband died, but one of my co-workers named Ellen, did a risky thing. She sent me funny cards instead of sympathy cards.
To be honest, I hated her and thought her attempts to hasten my grief where insensitive and hurtful. Why would she do this? She had lost her father when he was too young to die? Of all people, she should “get it!”
Well, she did “get it!” The cards kept coming and after a few weeks, I heard myself laughing as I hurried to open her letter at the mailbox. Ellen’s cards reminded me that laughing can feel good, that laughing is as needed and necessary as tears when we grieve. She knew that for me to truly HEAL I would have to once again find my BALANCE.
The BALANCE between the light and the darkness,
Between laughter and tears –
Wholeness and brokenness –
Repair versus despair.
How are you finding ways to maintain balance after a loss?