To be honest, I suck at love.
What makes it worse is that I’m a yoga teacher.
This makes me feel like a failure, and I’m sure when I read your comments (as one person said recently), like I am the spawn of Satan.
Discussions of love always intensify around Valentine’s Day…and make me throw up a little in the back of my throat. I feel like I am missing out on some ‘je ne sais quoi’ part of life.
I do love, but judging by the number of my failed relationships in my past, I’m just not that good at it. By now I ought to be an expert.
While I am not good at the love thing, I must be pretty okay at the bed thing because just about every man I ever slept with wanted to marry me. I’m being serious and it was enough to make me stop sleeping with people I didn’t really like because it would mean months of being the pussycat to somebody’s Pepe le Pew.
I don’t think my popularity came from anything I did in the sack. Rather I think it was from what happened afterward, and that would be when I discreetly ran out the back door.
Long before the runaway bride I was the runaway girlfriend. I left a man on an island as I waved from a boat, on the tarmac at airports ala “Casablanca,” and once at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee.
I could have written the song 500 ways to leave your lover—50 ways being for amateurs.
I blame my mother because she raised me to be capable and competent and very independent. In my first marriage, she took one look at my soon-to-be ex-husband and gave me a toolbox for a wedding gift.
“Good luck,” she said, adding that “there’s not much that a well-stocked toolbox can’t fix.” Well, it couldn’t fix that marriage and it may surprise you to hear I wasn’t the one who left.
I cannot ever remember needing a man in my life, although I would have really liked a horse, as I was an avid rider since I was five. A horse could have carried me as far as my dreams would go, but a man—as far as I was concerned—only meant extra laundry.
So it may surprise you to hear that my second marriage has stuck, so far, like spaghetti on a wall. This is in no part to my being enlightened or an uber-yogi. It is because my husband is a really good man. He is steady and smart. He is the hull beneath my sails. He is the earth beneath my tree.
He is my BFF.
I am lucky that throughout my misadventures in the romance department, I was always willing to try again whether it was out of stupidity or just pure courage.
Love is just like yoga: you have to be willing to try over and over again until you get it right.
And now, of course, my children are boys, and I am so deeply in love with my family of men that literally the thought of being without them makes me crumble. That’s how the Universe works.
There is so much pressure in the yoga world to be about love. We are supposed to theme on love, to love everyone, and to play the song “Love is my Religion.” We are supposed to preach that money can’t buy love and that love is stronger than fear.
We are one community of love, love, love, love, love.
I’d rather be authentic than popular, and it has been far easier for me to teach steadiness and faith than the fairy tale of love. I know that many yoga teachers have an easy time with love, but this Valentine’s Day, you will not hear the love theme from me. If that makes me Satan’s spawn, well then, so be it.
Instead, I invite everyone who feels they suck at love to try again. You never know, the next time you might just get it right, and like me, have a pile of laundry that you will be really, really happy to do.
Author: Michelle Marchildon
Editor: Renee Picard
Image: Author’s own, courtesy of Peggy Dyer