One of my best friends came to visit for two days.
We both knew that I would be really pregnant during her trip, but even I didn’t expect to feel the way that I did upon her arrival. (Like I was going to have my baby sooner rather than later.)
On top of this the-baby-is-going-to-fall-out feeling, I had also shared something unexpected with my four-year-old daughter—her cold.
And maybe it’s that I don’t have the energy to put on a phony tour-guide persona or maybe it’s that, again, this is one of my very best friends, or maybe it’s also something bigger: maybe I gave myself permission to skip out on the waterfall and the overlook that I had wanted to show her because I’ve learned through my practices of both yoga and writing to honor my authentic self, and my authentic self’s needs.
And my needs these last few days were something like this:
I needed to simply talk with and enjoy the presence of my friend.
I needed to honor my young daughter’s desire to have us sit beside her on the couch and read to her.
I wanted to let my best friend make me soup from scratch while, frankly, I did nothing more than show her where the kitchen utensils all slept.
More, I needed to be my pregnant self who wanted a wonderful visit with her out-of-town friend while also being honest that I wasn’t feeling as great as usual.
And we had a kick-ass time.
Sure, we didn’t do any of the things that I had in mind, but what we did was better—because what we did was stay present with ourselves and with each other as friends.
We were so present with one another, in fact, that when I had a dizzy spell for an hour or so, she began to feel a little bit dizzy-ish, too.
Not someone who gets lightheaded with you, but someone who is really with you; who’s really in the room with you, listening to you and sharing with you and allowing where you are in yourself and your current life to be good enough, even if good enough wasn’t what you had planned out.
And that’s exactly why authentic people have more fun.
They have more fun because “fun” isn’t one-size-fits-all; “fun” is mood dependent with variables extending from many aspects of our life’s circumstances.
So, these past few days, my fun was more like watching Old School and snort laughing at The Dan Band’s rendition of Total Eclipse of the Heart.
My fun was eating Coconut Bliss ice cream for the first time, to help get rid of my pregnancy-related heartburn.
My fun was telling my girlfriend that my stomach must have pirate scurvy because I’d eaten five oranges in an exceedingly short period of time.
Fun was looking into my friend’s eyes and seeing her soul and feeling overwhelmingly grateful to have her in my life and in my home.
And if you ever doubt that being your natural self when alone or with others is letting someone down, then try it—go ahead and be who you are and ask for what you need and then let yourself take it, and I sincerely doubt that we’ll wind up disappointed.
Because authentic people do have more fun, especially when they’re choosing to share their lives with other authentic people.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Emily Bartran
Photo: Alycia Kosonic/Flickr; Author’s Own