Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Scarlett Letter

I wish I could wear a Scarlett Letter. I'd wear a "G" instead of an "A" though. For those of you who are not familiar with the "Scarlett Letter" it is a work of fiction by Nathanial Hawthorne. Hester Prynne has been discovered to be with child by someone other than her husband. Her punishment for such a shameful act: to wear a Scarlett "A" round her neck so everyone would know she is an adulterer. You gotta love the Puritans.
I cheat on yoga with gossip. I don't repeat things told to me in secret, I share observations. It's a tricky relationship for me. I am gifted with an ability to take in a lot of information at one time, which means....I take in information I'd rather not. I'd rather not see your private bits, but if you don't know what to wear to yoga, and I'm craning me head in final spinal and get blasted with your bits, I'm going to tell. And there will be laughter.
Also, I get frustrated with things that are off balance to me, that I vent by talking about the things I'd like to change.
Did I say vent? I gossip. It's true. I'm saying it out loud, well I'm broadcasting it. And, it's something I truly dislike about myself. Because I hate to hurt other people. I hate to be petty. If I had to hang that Scarlett G around my neck, perhaps I'd think twice before passing on information. The kind of information that serves no purpose but a commiseration of how messed up people are.
But then again, how else do we learn, but by being called out? There's a quote periodically making the rounds that says something like small minds discuss people, average minds discuss things and great minds discuss  ideas. I see that. If you'd prefer to discuss how big someone's butt is in those jeans instead of world peace....maybe you're shallow.
Then's not that simple. Is it? I've been reading in the yoga community, and there's interesting discussion about what is annoying, how annoying it is that you're annoyed in the first place, and really who is judging whom. I had to laugh as I read because things got blown so out of proportion, and really, even the best of us can't shake the ego. For example, I'm not judging your worth as a human being when you carelessly slam the door on your way out during Savasana, you're still a worthy being. I'm judging that in that moment, you're obnoxious. And, if enough people talk about how obnoxious the door slamming event is, maybe it will become an idea that we all need to not slam the door. See how that works? Of course, others may not care about the door slamming at all, (in actuality I don't), but let's hear it for courtesy and mindfulness.
I'm not trying to justify being a gossip. I'm serious when I say I hate that about myself. I am saying a lot of bad behavior goes unchecked, and when we fall into the trap of rising above it, excusing it as human nature, it seems to me it just gets worse.
The word that keeps coming to mind as I contemplate these ideas is balance....this post has been sitting here for weeks, because it is such a scary topic to me! And given the Scarlett Letter, I still think Hester would do it all the same.


Kelliann said...

Oh gossip... do we have to call it that? ;) Miss you and the beautiful santa rosa yoga community! Hope you are well!

Cassandra said...

Shoot. Let's think of a new word. Miss you too Kelliann! It's not the same without you. We shared some good "stories." It's not gossip if it happens to you?

Nina said...

I love this post Cass - so real and honest.