That phrase, “better out than in,” is heard frequently at Yoga Lab. It’s used when people are full of emotions and try to hold them back. I’ve never heard that phrase before Yoga Lab and I’ve definitely never practiced it in real life.
I grew up with the idea that my problems weren’t big enough. I felt like the people around me already had more than enough going on in their own lives, so why add to it with my problems? No one ever told me to act this way, I just wanted to be the strong one. When things seemed to be falling apart, I wanted to be there to hold it all together.
I never realized that I acted this way until I heard those words, “Better out than in.”
I could feel my brain scanning for an easy exit strategy, for the polite surface answer, but I knew that a filtered response wasn’t going to fly. In that uncomfortable moment (during teacher training), I knew the entire room would support me no matter what came out of my mouth. Whether the words were big or small, they were willing to wait for as long as it took to hear those words. Going through this experience made me realize that my problems were never “too small.” In fact, they were really heavy and carrying that weight inside was a recipe for disaster.
I have no one to blame for any of this. My family and friends have always been there for me. I’m just really good at saying, “I’m fine” — a phrase that is banned at Yoga Lab.
Now, as a mom of three, I’ve noticed that I have a really hard time seeing my girls full of emotion. I want to tell them to suck it up and move on, because that’s what I know and that’s what I’ve always done (pause your parent judgement). I’m doing my best and I know that my parents were also doing their best. When I look into my daughters’ eyes full of tears, I can see myself as a little girl trying to hold it all together. Feelings of anger, sadness, and isolation flood in. I never want my girls to carry that weight. I don’t want them to have a shield. I want them to show their emotions, good or bad. And I want to be able to do the same for myself. Better out than in.