This is a guest contribution from Jordan Davis.
I was gasping for new breath as I attempted to move into the downward dog position in a one hundred and five degree room; thoughts of regret and old, forbidden memories began to fill my head like violent waters gushing into an empty space.
My breathing became shallower as each thought of every boy that ever walked into my life and broke my heart replayed in my head like an old familiar song along with the thoughts of sudden regrets for signing up for this new thing called “hot yoga.”
Before my unfocused breathing stopped altogether my yoga instructor’s calming voice broke my toxic, heartfelt trance…
“Breathe this breath of life. This is your life. This breath is what is going to get you through.”
The resurrected thoughts vanished and once again my breathing became stronger and deeper and to my astonishment I was actually conquering the one-legged tree of life pose. As I stood there pouring sweat from every inch of my aching body I began to think how relationships were a lot like this hot yoga class.
Over the past couple of years of my young, adolescent life I have learned more about life, love, and boys than any book, scientist, or teacher could ever attempt to teach me. During the heartbreak, the pain, and every salty tear shed it was really hard to try and understand the meaning and reasoning behind it or trying to find the exact answer as to why this was all happening to me.
For most of us, we won’t find a high school sweetheart or a college love, get married, and live happily ever after.
For most of us, love is a battle, a challenge….a never-ending obstacle course.
We have to date and date and date. And kiss a million and one frogs until we finally find our prince.
As with yoga, of course there is always those girls that are good at it during their first visit. They are able to do all the crazy, advanced poses while you’re sitting there in fetal position on your sweaty mat just trying to breathe normal again.
But while I was sitting there in a room of strangers, twisting my body is odd shapes and poses I discovered that through every failed relationship, bad memory, and broken heart I have learned more about myself than I could have ever learned on my own.
I have learned how cruel and dark the world really is but also how beautiful and wonderful we forget it to be. I learned how patience, understanding and kindness are important parts of the coveted recipe for a successful relationship and that without trust you ultimately have nothing.
I have learned that I am strong.
During all the heartache and late nights lying awake in bed crying over an ex-boyfriend we sometimes forget about our strength and let are moments of weakness blind us from what we are really made of. We forget that each day we feel defeated by our healing hearts there are still small victories to be celebrated.
With each contorted pose and ache in my body I felt myself getting better.
As with relationships and try after try—with Mr. Wrong, Mr. Not So Much, and Mr. Player Player—we get stronger, get wiser, and become better.
Just like with each new pose, with every single relationship we find ourselves always growing, always changing, and most importantly, always learning.
Despite all the pain heartbreak brings us or the anguish love so often causes we find ourselves becoming better versions of ourselves and recovering the person we were always meant to be. We discover our self worth, establish our strength and learn the value of patience.
After an hour of self breakthrough, sweat, and deep breathing we finally get to the end of the hot yoga class.
Lying on the mat with my legs extended and palms facing up I felt a welcoming, cool relief touch the ends of my finger tips. It was a cold, wet towel being given to me by my shirtless instructor. I took the towel and gave him a gracious smile and quickly laid the icy towel on my hot face.
Just as with every journey, every obstacle, and every challenge there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, always something to have been gained, and something to always learn.
I wouldn’t trade any lesson I’ve learned for the world. It’s important when feeling drowned in the moment of loss or heartbreak to always try and look at the bigger picture and try to understand what can be learned from it or what can be gained.
Despite every thought of regret during that hot yoga class, I found myself excited for the next class and buying a monthly membership to my newfound hobby. And despite every guy who put my heart in a blender, I still appreciate the lessons that followed and still seek the love I continue to believe in. My failed relationships molded me into the woman I am today and regardless of my losses I know there is still so much joy to come.
Always loving, always laughing, and most importantly, always learning.