Monday, February 27, 2006

Limits, Expanding

I like to walk the perimeter of my limits, to know what lies just inside them, what lies just outside of them too. It can be scary to acknowledge that I have any limits at all, but it can also be freeing. It brings the focus back into what is actually possible in the present moment. It prevents the strain and injury that comes along with trying to be something you want to be but are not yet, without cutting off the possibilities of what you might become in the future.

In yoga, you stretch the physical limits between what is comfortable and what is painful, and breathe into that space. If it hurts, you've gone too far. But if you can't find the edge, you're missing the point. The addictive and wonderful thing about this practice is watching your limits shift, expand, relax. Not because of pushing or striving, but from leaning forward into change, yielding to it.

My life these days feels like yoga.

Yesterday, I accompanied J~ on a long drive north to check out his ex's new home and partner, in order for him to find some closure, but especially so that he might feel comfortable authorizing visitation there for his son. I went because a road trip seemed like it would be fun, because J~ wanted me along, because his ex invited me, seemed to need to meet me, and (okay, I'll admit it) because I was curious about her too. But I also went for B~, J~'s son, because in this short stretch of time, his well-being has come to matter to me quite a bit, and the possibility of being of use to his mother meant being of use to him.

My impressions of her were complex. She seemed incredibly strong, but functioning under the illusion that she is incredibly weak. She treated me with some hostility at first, which angered me, excusing her behavior by explaining how raw she felt. But I came to understand her attitude was based on her own true and blinding pain, and a ferocious, territorial love for J~. Though she'd stepped out of the relationship, it hurt her to know it wasn't there anymore to fall back on. Though she'd hurt him herself, she didn't want to see him hurt any further. In the end, she expressed, through tears, great appreciation for me, for who I am and my willingness to come along to meet her. She said J~ and I seemed good for each other, and she hoped we would stick. When we left, she hugged me.

How could I find fault with that? How could I not find my heart stretched, yoga-style, with deep-breathing awareness of my limits, toward loving her myself?

So much more to tell. I haven't even touched upon the second visit of the day, and all the Babies or Not implications and discussion it sparked for J~ and I. Let's breathe our way into that one, shall we? Falling forward into the next time I write...

No comments: