I have two stories to share. One is a story of a beginning and the other is a story of an ending.
Back when I was living in Beijing, I got into a serious relationship. When friends asked us about how we met, this was the version of the story my boyfriend then would tell. He would say that he was at this party with a lot of people, and from across the room, he saw the most beautiful pair of eyes he's ever seen: Scrappy's. Then I was beside Scrappy. Friends liked this story. It was funny and cute and quite charming.
Now this is the story of the ending. We had parted ways at a time where we have already made plans to merge our lives. I had a pending application to move to his country. As a practical matter, I had to withdraw my application. So I had this letter in an envelope that I had to drop off at an embassy, and it felt to me as though I was announcing the end of that relationship not only to family and friends but to a country as well. It felt like closing a loop. There was a finality to dropping off that letter.
When we get into romantic and sexual relationships, we often have stories. And we often get caught up in the story. This is how it started, this is how it went wrong, this is how it ended. It becomes an entwinement of love and tragedy. What we tend to forget are those in-between moments where we get glimpses of what it is like to understand another person, to maybe even finish each other's sentences, to know what the other is thinking, to have an experience of oneness or yoga through another person.
That oneness we experience came from us, because we are capable of replicating that experience of oneness, though the expressions of it may be different. As yogis, we are practical. We do not think of enlightenment as something we cannot achieve or understand. We look into enlightenment and see if we perhaps have the opportunity to have a taste of it even if we are not yet fully enlightened.
Romantic relationships bring us so much joy but also so much pain. It is easy to get caught up in our stories, to dwell in the past, to ask the what-ifs, to get stuck in the issues that we felt were unresolved. But if our interest is in pursuing yoga, then it is necessary that we take on a different perspective. We learn to forgive and let go. We do not wait for the other person to resolve those issues for us. We do not let the stories overpower our capacity to experience that oneness again.
Yoga means union, it comes from the word yuj which means to yoke. Yoga is accessible to us regardless of the ebb and flow of love and sex. Yoga is available to us regardless of the stories we tell ourselves. Yoga is available to us and transcends our conventional understanding of beginnings and endings. We have stories we have told ourselves and others. We have stories to share. At the end of it, what do we want to get out of our relationships with love and sex?