In the first yoga class I ever took with her, the day after we met, I cried like a baby. With my head between my knees in child's pose, tears forming a puddle on my yoga mat, I waited to be asked to leave as my chest heaved with grief and what felt like the weight of the world. In my sadness and shame, I felt hands on my back, comforting and consoling. Her voice was directly above me. At once she managed to continue teaching the rest of the room while making me feel like I was the one that mattered to her. Her kindness in that moment helped me feel safe and welcome and assured me that it was ok to be me.
It's five years later, and almost every day, we talk or text or exchange an email or two. On lucky days I get to see her, though we live three hours apart. She's still teaching me about what it means to love well and how to receive the gift of another's kindness. She helps me become a better version of myself. For that and so much more, I'm grateful. "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend." Proverbs 27:17 NLT