The Power of “Staying”

I recently found myself telling someone that they should be really proud of themselves for hanging in there, for staying, when most people would have left, you need to give yourself credit for finding a way to STAY.  I think it’s far easier to leave than to stay most of the time.  When I practice yoga the teacher will say sometimes it’s harder to stay in the early stage than it is to keep moving into the more advanced pose, or they will say there is power and strength in breathing (staying) in the discomfort and sensation.  And guess what? Part of the human experience is to experience pain & discomfort, sorrow & loss, suffering & agony, so that we can also know what it feels like to experience joy & well being & ecstasy! Speaking of agony & ecstasy … Have you read “The Agony & the Ecstasy” by Irving Stone?  It’s the biographical novel of Michelangelo and he definitely experienced some serious “highs & lows” (as most artists & geniuses do). I remember recommending the book to a friend of mine, its a bit of an undertaking — long and dry in some parts and when I texted to ask her if she was liking the book, her response was “let’s just say parts are agony & parts are ecstasy” 😉 EXACTLY!  But in the end she was so glad she took it on! And speaking of yoga in Glennon Doyle Melton’s book “Love Warrior” in the part where she discovers yoga, she accidentally find herself in a hot yoga class (“Hot Yoga? What fresh hell is this?” she says to herself) & when the teacher asks everyone to state their intention she says “just to stay on my mat and make it through whatever is about to happen without running out of here” STAYING! Life unfortunately can be uncomfortable & painful, sometimes very painful and I think that’s why most people leave, especially men because they have never experienced living through the discomfort and the pain, women on the other have to do it once a month, every month for most of their lives and don’t even get me started on living through nine months of discomfort and then 36 hours of labor and then pushing that baby out (what is it people say? pushing a grapefruit out of a hole the size of a dime) 😂 36 hours with both babies, sick for 5 months with each pregnancy, but as a woman, we have no choice but to  stay with the discomfort and the pain, we as females are “trained” to stay to “endure” because sometimes we have no choice. Inthe movie Steel Magnolias when the main character’s adult daughter is dying and she’s the only one in the family that stays and holds her hand while she takes her last breath, her brothers, her father & even her husband can’t bear the pain & discomfort so they leave the room.  At the funeral she says to her female friends that “as a woman she feels so lucky that she is strong enough to have witnessed her daughters first breath as she entered this world and to witness her last breath as she departed this world, (for having the strength & the desire to stay). Women are strong!  Steel Magnolia’s, men are the one’s supposedly “made of steel” but really most of the time it’s women.  It is true that staying in a marriage, staying in your seat on an airplane so you don’t disturb others, keeping up with an exercise program because you know in the long run you’ll benefit from it, staying with a job or career until you know you “can’t stand it any longer” to see what happens or to see if at least the benefits outweigh the negatives or to know you’ve truly given it all you’ve got and then deciding it’s time to move on.  Staying in a long relationship because it worth seeing if you can get back to “the way you were” or at least maybe find a new way of “being” together.  A lot of the time we as human beings give up on things too early because it’s easier to leave, because we think “there’s no way I can stay”!  There is power and strength in “hanging in there”, “waiting to see what the future holds”, finding value in longevity and loyalty and commitment, breathing through the not so comfortable (sometimes even painful) episodes of our lives, riding out the highs and the lows, holding on when it would be so much easier to just let go.

Guess what, the person I’m referring to at the beginning of this post is actually a man ;).

Image 6-11-17 at 2.51 PM

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