I had a bout of rage and jealousy this morning. I read an interview with Ashtanga teacher Kino MacGregor, and it triggered profound anger. Why? Why is she so beautiful and amazing and I'm not? How is she able to do all these things? Why can't I be more like Kino?
In my yoga practice this morning, I stayed with these thoughts without suppressing them or identifying with them. I allowed the rage and jealousy to flow. I saw deep self-hatred, wanting to be like the other girls.
The other girls (when I was young) where small and cute and pretty. I was big and awkward and smart. I hated being awkward and smart. But eventually it got me noticed because when I tried to be cute and pretty I was just laughed at (like when I did a dance with my friends for my family once and they told me it was cute for my small friends but I looked silly). I didn't fit their little clothes, I couldn't be small no matter how hard I tried. I looked like a 12-year-old when I was 9, and I even got my period then. I stood out, and I hated it.
But when I moved to Canada, I met two other tall girls. Yasmin and Lindsay. To me, they were a breath of fresh air. You mean, you can be tall and still be fun and pretty and a girl? I started to hang out with them, and I also began to be picked for sports (in Argentina I was always picked last). I began to own being tall, and interestingly soon enough I stopped growing and now I'm average height.
To this day, I feel deep in my heart that if I was different I would be better. I wonder how many of us feel this way, that if only we were just a bit different, a bit more like him or her, we would be happier.
But this thought is not true. I can be myself and still be loved. I don't have to do the fancy poses. I don't have to be blonde and tiny. And I can be smart.
It feels great to give myself permission to be me. Kino, that is great that you can be so pretty and fanciful and travel the world doing yoga. I will be happy for you. I will practice "sympathetic joy" (gladness for the success of others). And ultimately my ability to be happy for you will depend on being happy for myself.
Feeling that I am good as I am. With my body, my practice, my life. I breathe in deep love for myself, and I release years and years of wanting to be different. I am enough.