Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Saying YES!

I realized after waking up this morning that my experiences in Improv class last night were really stirring up some old demons. So I have to say -- I am incredibly grateful that Improv on Monday nights is followed by my spirituality class on Tuesday morning.

I am, as you can tell, always eager to share stories, and there were any number of moments in class today where I was eager to speak up and share the various humiliations and revelations of last night's class. But I try to be careful, to pay attention to what is being said around me, to hold back on the stories and see if an opening appears (though I do not always succeed). And one of the blessings this morning was that, though openings did not occur (thank heaven) for the bad stories, one DID occur for the one good revelation of the evening. So I will share that with you, having erased the previous version of this post.

One of the exercises we did last night was to come to the stage, two at a time, and person A would start by saying "I did X today" (where X could be absolutely anything, true or untrue). From that point on, the two people take turns speaking, beginning with person B, who begins every sentence with "Yes, and you.....", to which person A always responds, "Yes, and I...".

So if I were, for example, thinking of this statue, and said "I went bowling last night," then the other person could say, "Yes, and you bowled a perfect 300" and then I could say "Yes, and I was their millionth customer, so I won a million dollars." Person B could then respond, "Yes, and you're such a whiner you STILL complained that the hot dogs at the bowling alley are too expensive!" and I could say "Yes, and I decided to give all the money back to the alley, setting it up as a fund to pay for free hotdogs for anyone who asks."

The goal of the exercise -- well, there are probably many goals -- is to train us out of our tendency to negativity and denial, to take what's given and run with it -- which can open your imagination and creativity to lots of strange and bizarre places. It's also great for listening practice, and character development, and any number of other things: I'm hoping to start practicing it with my husband.

But the blessing of it, I realized this morning, is that it also works as a meditation practice. So I can sit here and say, OMG I am horrified to discover there are still parts of me that are angry, or self-absorbed, impatient or incredibly uptight but there is another voice -- call it Jesus, Spirit, the Divine, whatever -- which says "Yes, and you are ALSO..." Which allows me to remember all the other things I am, too, and know that all those parts of me were created by God, who created us and CALLS US GOOD, and enfolds all those parts of us tenderly and gently in one single loving embrace.

So thank you, fellow travelers on the journey, for your patience and your listening. I hope you know, as I do, even if only for a moment, that all those parts of you you find so hard to love are, yes, all there, AND, YES there are other parts, too, and YES God loves them all. It just bowls me over!

PS: I was just in the kitchen, making lunch, and my husband's favorite playlist -- David Byrne -- was playing. And this is what I heard, standing, arrested, before the microwave; it makes me think of all that unconditional love that waits out there for us:

Sometimes dear
You tell me I'm an asshole
Sometimes you're an asshole too
Even though we're filled with imperfections
I don't think any less of you

I'm primitive and selfish
I'm childlike and I'm helpless
Well I got that way because of
My love for you

My love is you
My love is you

1 comment:

Jan said...

Thank you.

And what a great poem!