Sometimes love is a choice.
I have some friends who have been married for more than 15 years. They have been going through a hard time lately. Talk of divorce in the air. I am friends with both of them and have been offering an ear to each. One question which came up for me in light of their issues is this:
Can love be a choice?
I get it. After years of being married, after the kids, after having sex with the same person over and over (and over), you may get a little bored. Or, you shift in ways that are incomprehensible to your partner. Whatever it may be, the air becomes stale and at times, resentful and heavy. Like a slow suffocation.
Like a savasana that goes on and on and on and on.
What do I know? I have only been married two years. (Above photo was from my wedding celebration held at a yoga studio.)
But I do know that I have had this come up for me with other things in my own life.
I am committed these days to being my most honest self so here it goes:
I had fallen out of love with my own yoga practice.
There. I said it.
And yes, I make my living as a yoga teacher.
I have been working so much that the last thing I want to do is hear someone else tell me to lift my right leg or to shift into plank position. (Add the fact that, because of my hearing loss, I cannot hear what the teacher says anyway, so when they say lift your right leg I am always the one lifting my left leg.)
I had grown resentful of it—as if it had been my lover and had cheated on me. I rolled my eyes at it. I gave it dirty looks. I gossiped about it. I hated that I couldn’t hear what the teacher was saying and that I would end up feeling lost in a sea of Pincha Mayurasanas (forearm balance). As in any relationship, miscommunication is where many problems arise.
Ah, my sweet beloved yoga practice that I once loved. I once was so obsessed with you that I dreamt of you often and changed my whole life to be closer to you.
What happened? I will tell you what happened.
Human being-ness happened.
I am using my yoga practice as an example, but you can insert your loved one or your job or your wife or whatever relationship it may be, and you will find the equation to be very similar.
Lack of gratitude + overworking + not showing up to the party + miscommunication = the opposite of feeling in love.
1. I started taking my yoga practice for granted. I stopped being grateful for it.
2. I overworked myself until I had nothing left for me. When it came time for me-time, the last thing I wanted to do was my own yoga practice because I had taught so many times during the day that even the look of a yoga mat made me want to scream. (Sometimes I did scream.)
3. I got too comfortable not doing yoga. The hardest part is getting onto the mat. This. Is. True.
Just show up.
I am committed to falling back in love with . . . my own yoga practice.
Like all relationships, sometimes a little reinvention is needed.
A little coaxing, willingness, a gentle nudge, a boatload of commitment. Sometimes we get burned out and we need to fall in love all over again. I believe this is possible.
The first step? We need to make a choice to commit.
We need to dress up a little and have a hot date night—or, in my case, “yoga night”—to reignite that fire.
We need to talk about it. Today, I am admitting my burned-outedness and my falling-out-of-lovedness. Once I got it out in the open and stopped being ashamed about it, I felt better. It was like a badge of dis-honor I was wearing on my heart. Once I talked about it to my teacher and wrote about it here, I felt more human. I felt more connected to other people who have in fact fallen out of love with things they once were married to. (Or, at least were sleeping with.)
I am ready to get back into bed with my yoga practice.
I can choose to rewire my thoughts so I once again feel passionate about my yoga practice. And you can do these same things with any relationship.
I can make my schedule less jam packed so that I no longer feel nauseated at the idea of Downward dog.
I can find new things that I love about my yoga practice. They may not be the things I fell in love with years ago. That’s ok. We have both grown older or wiser. (I have grown older and yoga has grown wiser.)
Where can you recommit in your life? Please answer below in the comment section.
Jennifer Pastiloff is the creator of Karaoke Yoga, Manifestation Yoga, and a contributor to MindBodyGreen.com and PositivelyPositive.com. She was recently featured on ABC’s Good Morning America. Follow her via her Facebook page and read more of her writing on her blog.