16 September 2010

"There you are sitting in the garden, clutching my coffee, calling me sugar, you called me sugar" --Pink

A story:

At the end of a week-long singing workshop at Omega, we (about 35 of us) were sitting in a somewhat random clump on the hardwood floor and the workshop leader invited us to share whatever we wanted to share. We went around the clump and comments ranged dramatically.

There were people that simply said "It's been a great week. Thanks!" and others who told very personal stories and burst into tears in the telling. Honestly, I remember none of these people specifically.

The bit of sharing that stays with me through the years--and I can still see this woman's face in my mind--was this: A 20-something woman said that she was embarrassed to say she'd spent the week worrying about her legs. She hated her legs. They were too thin, she said. And it was hot and she wanted to wear shorts but she didn't wear shorts all week because she hated her legs and she didn't want people to see them. Then she unfolded her legs in front of her, pulled up her pants legs, and said, "Here. These are my legs. I can't believe I spent the week worrying about them."

They were perfectly ordinary looking legs.

We obsess. Over things that don't matter to anyone but us. Over things that shouldn't matter to us, even. Meanwhile, the world goes by. People wonder what our problem is and make faulty assumptions because they see our behavior and have no idea that we're acting strangely because we "don't want to show our legs."

It's crazy. And it happens all the time.

"We are not capable of understanding each other and that is the main source of human suffering." -Thick Nhat Hahn

9 comments:

The Bug said...

That is SO true! AND I always believe other people's weird behavior is about ME. Example: a few weeks ago my boss was acting all secretive and taking unexpected days off. With no evidence, I decided that he was getting a new job & leaving me high & dry. Turns out one of his daughters had gotten lice. Yeah, I don't think that was going to affect me at all (unless he brought it to the office).

So my word to myself is to just accept that people act weird & most of the time it's for non-weird reasons :)

Kate said...

You're a crazy yoga person? I didn't know that!!! My sister is a new yoga instructor in NY and she's headed to some week long yoga thingie in Colorado this week. Awesome!

GreenCanary said...

Hmmm... This sort of hits close to home. I feel... sheepish.

WV: "relogut" - When one relocates the fat from one's gut to another part of one's body. Like one's ass.

Mike said...

"We obsess."

But that's normal isn't it? It's my normal anyway.


Wv: emenzero - The score for the emen after the ewomen kicked their ass.

Barbara said...

This is the very same thing that drives anorexics to think they are fat. So much is in our self-perception, which may actually be quite flawed, but it's the way we see ourselves. I hope the legs woman went on to come to terms with her ordinary legs and appreciate the fact that they allowed her to move about probably quite easily.

I still want to go to Omega.

Do I dare ask what you said when it was your turn in the circle?

suicide_blond said...

soooooooo true..... xoxo

Lemon Gloria said...

Yes. Absolutely right.

lacochran's evil twin said...

The Bug: So true. Sometimes their weirdness really is THEIR weirdness.

Kate: I've done yoga and they offer yoga (and meditation and tai chi) at Omega but no, I wouldn't call myself a crazy yoga person. Although I like the way yoga makes my body feel all rubbery and bendy afterwards.

GreenCanary: I think we all do it. Sheep, wolves, all of us.

Mike: There are... what... a billion versions of normal? Yeah, we all do it.

Barbara: You can ask. And if I remembered, I'd tell you. I'm sure it wasn't profound.

suicide_blond, Lemon Gloria: Thanks for reading and validating. Important in blogging and parking.

Diary of a Social ART-tivist Mommy said...

yes, I try to always assume the BESt now when I experience weird behavior and NOT make it about me unless I am told it's about me....keep writing.