It was like any other Tuesday morning, only it wasn’t. No two are ever exactly the same, just as each moment passes by us changed from the one before, whether we are aware of it or not. This Tuesday morning, though, was memorable in unexpected ways.
It began with a small mishap, a yoga mat de-potting an African violet that had been repotted after another de-potting from Millie-the-kitten-almost-cat a few days prior. Poor plant. Yet, accidents happen, and after a quick few swipes with the vacuum order was returned, or so I thought. Yoga with said mentioned kitten-cat Millie, and her side-kick Zelda-the-fifty-pound-dog, is never what I would call orderly. It’s a combination of laughter/hatha/kitten/dog yoga and one ever knows whose mat is going to be chosen for the Millie v. Zelda
wrestling match yoga competition practice. This morning, though, Millie decided she’d rather spend the bulk of the class prowling the perimeter and upending every crystal and figurine in sight, while stealing peacock feathers and fishing in the water fountain for more rocks and crystals.
But, I am digressing from the true purpose of this post, which is about what happened after class had formally ended and the collective “Om” had been uttered. Often, instead of a scurrying out the door to get to the next destination for the day, there is a lingering behind and sharing of the thoughts of the mind. Some days chatter is light banter, but today it rose from the heart. That place that reminds us we are all, in essence, the same. Reminding us we are each, in our individual way, trying to find our place in the world as human beings. Trying to live each day to the best of our abilities in this existence we call life.
Life that can morph and change at any moment, both within our own existence and beyond. A fellow writer had shared her news that she would be appearing at a local bookstore the next day to discuss her book about childhood depression. A deceptively small work of fiction based upon her own life experiences as a mother with a child who went into the darkness of life at an early age.
When we open up the stories inside of our hearts, our shared humanity emerges. The energy of compassion and empathy pours from our beings and outer differences are ignored. I knew my friend’s story, but the others in the room did not. From her story flowed another, equally poignant. One that I had never heard before. We often interact with others without really knowing who they are. Their triumphs and sorrows, as well as those more mundane moments are not widely known outside the space of the home, or even the individual being who may tend toward introversion. And, although we may guess at other’s thoughts, and think we can read them on their faces, we can never truly know them unless they are shared from the heart.
When my friend shared her book and her story, another member of our yoga class shared hers story about helping a different boy through his darkness. A boy, who was between childhood and adulthood, who needed someone to see him for the gift he was. They had almost overlooked him when he asked for a job because of the reputation of his family. Now, they are his primary guardians. Although he is not by blood, he is by any other definition their son. They have given him shelter, nourishment and love. They have also given him unwavering support and guidance to see his gifts come to life. Yet, he was almost dismissed.
Five words changed everything. For him and for them. “I was wrong about you,” his foster father confessed after fed him a much-needed meal and opened his ears to hear the stories in his heart. After realizing that a false judgement had been placed upon this young teen, the couple opened their door and their hearts to him, giving him a chance at a life he was not endowed with by birth. From his place of darkness, a new and brilliant light had dawned.
“I was wrong about you.”
How many times do we place judgement upon another throughout our days. This tendency of the human mind to make assumptions about other living beings has likely been a key part of our existence since the earliest stages of humanity. In some ways it helps us to survive, but it doesn’t always help us to thrive.
We are at a stage in our evolution where polarization appears to be triumphing over unity. The false belief of the “other” that is somehow lesser than ourselves appears like a virus that we carry through each generation. Sometimes it lies latent, and other times, like now, it flares in all of its diseased desire to win and overcome us.
Later in the morning, after the rest of the yoga class had left, my fellow writer friend and I lingered a little longer over cups of tea while she told me about her night at the same bookstore with her husband. And as she talked, more hope sprung within me. There had been a discussion, which is part of a larger movement taking place across this country. It’s starting small, less than a dozen indie bookstores are doing it at this time, but I have a feeling it will quickly grow. Its basic premise, to bring together seemingly different viewpoints and spark a conversation to find unity. That common ground that is in the middle of polarity.
The store had been filled to capacity, and I wonder how many had left with a different mindset than when they had arrived. How many had said, either out-loud or in the privacy of their minds, “I was wrong about you.”