The class was almost over. We were all laying on our mats in savasana when the teacher said, “some days are challenging. Okay, a lot of days are challenging. But at the end of the day if you can go out into the world and say ‘I love you’ you’re going to be just fine.”
At that moment as soon as she finished her sentence tears started streaming down my face. The good news was it was hot yoga and we were all so sweaty no one would’ve known the difference between tears and sweat as they all blended together.
This past weekend was my little cousin’s Bat Mitzvah. All the family was together celebrating a really special young woman. Two years ago, my very special little cousin and her big brother lost their mom to lung cancer. And we all knew yesterday in the back of our heads that she was being Bat Mitzvahed because that’s what my Auntie would’ve wanted. So, needless to say, there was a lot of pressure on this special day. We wanted the birthday girl to be happy, we wanted to make her mom proud, we wanted her dad to feel like everything went perfectly. We all were trying to squeeze every ounce of perfection and meaning out of this one day. It was like our whole family had a vice grip on the event. Then, in the middle of the party, when the entire audiovisual system went out during the montage of my cousin’s life all hell broke loose. Family members were screaming at the party planner who looked like a deer in the headlights. My cousin sat embarrassed with her friends on the floor. My daddy went to hide in the back room. Domi and I stared at each other.
In reality, this was not a big deal, on any other day someone would’ve gotten up and said “hey guys were having some technical difficulties. We’ll be back with you in a sec, just hang in there!!” And all would’ve been well. But instead, we all sat there flipping out. Finally, my cousin’s dance teacher grabbed me and said “everyone is panicking! We need to do something.” So, we jumped up on the stage and tried to quiet everyone down a bit and then because I didn’t know what else to do I stood there and gave a very short speech about how much we love the Bat Mitzvah girl and because I didn’t exactly have time to plan, my words came out a little more awkwardly than I would’ve hoped…but I did my best. I ended on “and she is such a beautiful dancer,” thinking her teacher would take it from there…however, she just stared at me, so what did I do? Well, I decided to tap dance in 8-inch heels, well, because what else would you do?
Everyone was staring at me and there was so much tension and pressure in the room the only way I knew how to diffuse it was to shuffle off to Buffalo in my sparkly gold heels. My cousin was insanely embarrassed. The mothers of her friends from school stared at me in horror. But finally, someone started to giggle and then someone else and just like that the palpable tension began to crack and miraculously the AV system was up and running again. I, speedily, made my exit and ran into Domi’s arms.
I started to cry. “I looked like an idiot,” I said, “I embarrassed my family.” And he held me and very gently replied, “no baby, you saved the day and your auntie would’ve been so proud.” I certainly didn’t feel like it. We were all so aggravated because things hadn’t gone perfectly like they were supposed to. Finally, I realized, what can I do? All I can do is look at my family and say I love you and tap dance a little bit. Every morning all I can do is try and give love to those I surround myself with. All day all I can manage is to love myself for caring enough to try, even if I fail. So, no, there is no magic wand to life where everything gets better and life is just perfect.
The closest we can ever get is loving ourselves and loving one another as best we know how to. And if I wake up and I love and then I go to sleep, it was a good day. It may not have been perfect, but it was good. We all miss my auntie terribly, but no amount of perfect parties is going to bring her back. So, the best we can do to honor her memory is love each other, be gentle with one another, throw almost perfect parties and know that every day you love yourself is a win.
You cannot control other people or situations, only your reactions to them and if you react out of love? Well, then that’s a dang good start.
Happy Tuesday friends I hope you love yourself and your people today a little more than yesterday, but not as much as you will tomorrow. Xoxox