You know, I can be a real bitch sometimes. Well, not so much a bitch as bitchy. Well, maybe both. I find it odd, even looking at my own self with an eye of introspection, that in spite of the fact that I am highly opinionated, regimented, type A first born child, don't put up with BS, will tell you if you're full of crap, and the like.....that I am also one of the most sensitive people I know. Not in a bad way. I mean, I am not given over to anyone making me cry or feel badly. I'm not hypersensitive and I rarely, if ever, let anyone walk all over me (unless they have nice, sexy and handsome feet and they are trying to have their way with me). What I mean is that I can cry at those TV commercials for the human society, my eyes will fill with tears when I see someone on the side of the road that I know probably needs a hand up, or when I see someone in real need. I can walk down the quiet halls of a nursing home and my heart will instantly be transported into another world of being very grateful for the life I have. Or I'll see a child that is unkempt, maybe has a brace on his or her leg or big thick glasses, and my heart will break. And the other thing that gets me is music. Even a single held note on a violin, french horn or clarinet can send me into fits of gushing tears....it happened just the other day.
So, I was in downtown Portland today at 24 Hour Fitness for the noon yoga class....led by one of my favorite instructors. She has such a beautiful way about her....her ability to teach, motivate, and assist. It's gentle with a strong backbone. I was a bit distracted (okay, quite a bit) by a handsome young man right next to me. I mean, yoga requires a vast amount of focus and ability to block out distractions if you're planning on doing the poses correctly, breathing adequately, and holding the poses for any length of time. So the last thing I need is distractions.....but it does put me to the test -- and he did today, without a doubt. So, we reach the end of our hour together. The last few minutes is called Shavasana.....a period of quiet rest. The eyes are closed, and no one is permitted to leave the class. We finished Shavasana by rolling onto our right-hand sides and curling up into a fetal position, still with our eyes closed, and still very much in a period of reflection and quietness of heart and mind. Rebecca asked us to think of one single thing that we are thankful for. "And now that you have it in your mind, let it move down into your chest, into your heart....and you'll know when it reaches your heart because your heart will actually feel warm......it will, you'll know it, let it happen," she breathed quietly but confidently. My husband is typically the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear that sort of question -- and today was no exception. And, guess what, my heart did actually feel warm when I allowed the thought to move down into my chest cavity. And guess what else happened (refer to my opening paragraph for a giant hint.) I started crying. Wasn't expecting it. Wasn't planning for it. (I'd rather have been squinting out from my supposed-to-be-closed-eyes at the dude next to me all curled up into a ball.) That's how much of an emotional gushy ball of blubber I can be. It just hits me from time to time.
As I've aged, my heart and mind have become more sensitive. But they also put up with far less games or drama than they ever have. I see myself with less judgment than I have in my past. And the criticisms that others have of me are able to be sorted out with a much more balanced perspective than the olden days when I'd become horrible defensive and tell them to get lost (I can still lapse back that direction if I'm not careful). I guess that's what age will do for a guy.