I love my yoga instructor. She's wise, energetic, funny, and real. I've been attending her classes for almost eleven years. The coolest thing about her is that she's still learning; she's the rare teacher who is always evolving, updating, and bursting with enthusiasm to share her latest discoveries.
I'm sort of a crappy yoga student in that I pick and chose which lessons to embrace. Sometimes I don't give it my all. Sometimes I resist. I'm easily distracted. Sometimes I go through the motions while trapped in my own thoughts. Speaking of easily distracted, the pre-schoolers across the street are playing Duck, Duck, Goose on the front lawn. Their high pitched excited voices are so sweet. Did you know that Minnesotans call this game Duck, Duck, Grey Duck? ANYWAY...
Last week I did something for which I'm not proud; I responded to a hateful, destructive blog comment. I'm constantly urging my son to resist the urge to take the bait cast out by haters, and yet I did just that. I tell him that the best way to get to someone with bad intentions is to ignore them because responding only fuels their dark flame. In responding, they know they've got you where they want you. I'm not sure why on that day I failed to act with dignity in the face of desperation, but sometimes I let down my guard. I don't brim over with self confidence and admittedly, my skin is not nearly as thick as it needs to be. It's hard not to be pissed off at someone who projects all sorts of bad intentions and bad vibes onto your attempts to be open and connected. I know that the blogosphere is made for open debate and disparaging points of view. I know that anonymity bolsters ones courage to lash out.
But I'm still disappointed in myself that I jumped off the high road. This desperate soul doesn't even know me, yet clearly she's invested a lot of time and energy into hating me. That makes me sad, makes me feel less safe, gives me a bad feeling in my stomach. But these types of people are not new to me; it comes with the territory in which I have chosen to live. Silence and disconnection can make me prostrate with depression, so on occasion, I take a big gulp and take the chance of sharing. I know that there are more good people than there are bad out there. But still, I didn't need to dignify those misguided comments that were meant to hurt me. Folks can hate my writing all they want; it would probably do them good to avoid it at all costs if it gives them a violent reaction or a borderline personality disorder. But to have a complete stranger speculate that my child was not conceived with love, them's fightin' words. I would say something about mama bear, Sarah Palin sort of ruined that image for a lot of us.
Recently, our yoga instructor's daily theme was "don't steal." Sure, we all know that it's wrong to steal, that it's one of the commandments, duh. She patiently smiled at our patronizing nods. She continued, "Yes, we all learned not to steal back when we helped ourselves to gum at the grocery store and our mothers marched us back in and made us return our loot to the cashier with an apology." We all chuckled and nodded back knowingly. She continued, "But how about this; don't steal other people's confidence." Eureka. Think of how much better everything and everyone would be if we all consciously tried to abide by that idea. Desperately flawed as I am, I'm going to try to work harder on that one.