Today in my yoga class, my instructor started out by talking about the concept of vulnerability and how she wanted us to apply the concept in our class today. Usually I don’t pay too much attention to the little blips she says at the beginning of each class because I find many of them a little too New-Agey for me, but today’s really hit home; she talked about how all of us are born completely vulnerable and only begin to put up a shell when we find our expectations not met in some way by the world. We put up walls when we are disappointed, rejected, or hurt by others, which in turn prevents us in some measure from further pain but also from a fulness of joy.
I’ve had a really hard time after my mission in some ways, and even with the passing of time, I still have yet to feel that I’m back up to the confidence I felt before my mission or as a missionary. I realized today that I’d made many attempts to put up some kind of shell since getting home since I found myself spiritually and physically attacked from all sides. But those shells haven’t been too effective, because I’m about in the most vulnerable position I could find myself in right now–I’m getting married. And to let someone in–anyone in–those walls have got to come down in some way. I think that much of the frustration I’ve felt is because I’m trying to not let myself become vulnerable while getting closer to someone, and that just doesn’t work. So the end result is basically that I end up punishing myself for everything external that happens to me.
I don’t know if that makes sense to anyone else. But anyway, to make a long story longer, I felt myself becoming overwhelmingly sad in my yoga class today, and as a result, I couldn’t do one of the poses that I physically should be strong enough and flexible enough to do. I was basically doing the exact opposite of what the instructor was trying to teach us, which only frustrated me more. It was a hard class today, and I came away feeling very frustrated with myself.
And then I realized something. A very small something, but still something—I’ve been focusing so much on all that is not perfect in my performance in life that I’m basically not allowing even myself to get closer to myself–I’ve felt for awhile that I wasn’t worthy of that kind of attention, even from me. That’s why I think Matt is so wonderful because he can see past all of that–he can see me, even when I can’t.
So today, I’m going to “learn to get by on little victories.” Some little victories from this week:
*As the photo above attests (sort of), I can now touch my nose to my knee in a leg stretch. I can also almost fold my body entirely in half while standing up.
*I got a 59/60 on a midterm that I was a little worried about
*I went to the gym last night and found I was able to bench signicantly more than I could even just a few weeks ago
*I haven’t missed a day of reading my scriptures this whole year so far (I consider that a pretty big victory, actually)
*I started a new book last night (finally)
*I’ve applied for two jobs in the past week
*I’ve walked to campus twice instead of taking the bus this week
There might be a few more, but I feel a little bit better. Of course, a big part of me still said inwardly, “Well yeah, but you didn’t…”, but I won’t go there. A little victory.