I have been sneaking down to Ann Arbor once a week to do yoga at this studio that a new friend brought me to. I say “sneaking” because I feel incredibly frivolous and guilty driving 25 minutes each way to do yoga, convincing myself I need to stop at the specialty grocery down there or handle an errand that can only be done in A2. Truly, I feel like this mini-trip is kind of soulful, and I can’t put my finger on it, but the energy at the studio and when I am in Ann Arbor is just so much better. I absolutely love walking my old stomping grounds and finding new places that interest me. It makes me feel happy, and so that’s a good enough reason to “sneak” it in.
Plus, the teacher on Wednesdays is a gem. Lots of yoga teachers are great, but this one is a gem. There’s an authenticity and wild playfulness to her classes and instruction, and when she wears a tank top that says “Spiritual Gangster”, I believe her. This week we focused on the pull of opposites. Physically, I have been studying this a lot in my personal trainer class- agonist/antagonist muscles, concentric/eccentric movements, etc. and so doing the opposing movements made total sense to me. As she was talking, I was just letting her words pass through me and then she started talking about her son. Her 13-year-old son had just written a paper or done a project about heat and cold for school. And he was summarizing it for her by mentioning that cold is not its own force or creation. It’s just an absence of heat. And then, she says, he related it directly to love. Hate is not its own force or creation either. It’s just an absence of love.
Hate is an absence of love. Kinda blew my mind.
Also made me think, “That has got to be the smartest thing any 13-year-old boy has ever said.”
Truthfully, there have been a lot of things I have been hating lately. Some large, like moving or frustrations over transitional things in our life. Some are small, like why-the-hell-can’t-that-person-turn-left-in-that-tiny-space-between-the-cars-so-we-can-get-to-school-on-time-dammit. And truthfully, my heart feels a little like that icy wind that’s been picking up outside. It’s a little cold. And I think it might be suffering from a little absence of love.
I am not saying that one has to be loved if they have an absence of love, or that you have to do the “love what you hate” thing. Let’s be honest, I am never going to love carpool line. But I know for me, I have to create that love force, through my interactions with my loved ones and the world at large. Just like I build heat in my muscles in order to prepare for the workout ahead by moving out the aches and increasing my heart rate, I have to build the heat of love to push out the cold of hate.