Quick story: My yoga instructor has lost two children to suicide. I hesitated to take classes with her because I thought I'd spend my "me" yoga time feeling horrible for her. I simply couldn't imagine how anyone could move on with life after such pain. And yet...she's warm and lovely and incredibly grounded. She speaks occasionally about her grief but always in the context of meeting grief with grace.
Over the years that I've been downward dogging and head-standing, my admiration for her strength has grown. And I've wondered how she does it. The answer is deceptively simple. She's made a choice: To live today.
And it's a choice each of us has to make every single morning.
How do I want to live today?
I can already hear the resistance. But what about the fact that he lied to me last night about a text on his phone? What about him being 10 minutes late? What about him refusing to tell her to stop driving by our house?
Valid questions, every single one. And questions that can be addressed by establishing clear boundaries and then enforcing them.
We get in trouble when we try to control other people. We get in trouble when we lose sight of the only question we need to pay attention to: How do I want to live today?
Lots of you have shared how you found your way to this question. One of our betrayed warrior wives told us that she imagines looking back from the future and seeing a picture of herself. How does she want to look in that picture? Another noted the wise counsel of her therapist who urged her to ask herself each day how she wants to live – and then behaving accordingly.
None of this means brushing aside dishonesty or disrespect from a partner. There's nothing about asking yourself how you want to live today that is about ignoring your pain or pretending that things are fine when they are anything but fine. It's about paying attention. Honoring your feelings. It might mean making some really hard decisions. And today might include plenty of moments where you are decidedly not living exactly as you would like. But the goal is to work toward a life in which you are exactly where you want to be and surrounding yourself with people who value you.
With 2017 just looming over the horizon, what if your only goal is to approach life from that question: How do I want to live today?
It would usher in a zillion smaller shifts that can't help but make your life more full – more full of joy, more full of people who deserve you, more full of opportunity.
Happy new year, my wonderful betrayed warrior wives. I can't wait to watch you all heal and share all of your wisdom and strength and compassion. It's there. I promise.
How do you want to live today?