Staying On My Pillow


Meditation taught me the value of a pillow. Simply spending some time sitting on one has changed everything about how I experience life. I have a beautiful meditation pillow that I plop down on when I’m feeling lost. I always seem to find myself there. I am immeasurably grateful for it. I should sit on it everyday, but I’ll be honest…I don’t.

I love understanding people. I love learning about their history and watching how they handle themselves in relationships and fastening it all together. It makes me love them with more compassion, understanding and acceptance. But I have a really hard time making those connections in my own life. Instead I say things like “I’m just unlucky in love” or “My lessons in life must need to be learned alone”.

A funny thing happened one day during a session with my therapist. She asked me to stand on a pillow. And she stood on another.  And she pretended she was a man who wanted me, so she stepped off of her pillow to come to me. Then she went back to her pillow and had me come off of mine to come to her. Then she explained that the problem arises when I never go back to my own pillow. I just stay there, in no man’s land trying to connect to someone else’s pillow world.

A light bulb went off. Fireworks exploded. Eureka!

Suddenly I see it everywhere I look. I see it in others, but even more importantly, I can actually see it in me.

When I am alone, I sit, stand or lie comfortably on my pillow. I search, ask, listen and discover with confidence. But when I begin to like someone enough to leave my pillow, I feel vulnerable and insecure. Instead of simply returning back to my own space with recent memories of how safe and happy I was there, I work diligently to make a space for myself in someone else’s life.

A roommate once called me one of “those girls” because I changed my lifestyle for a boyfriend. I was utterly offended at the time. But she was right.  That boyfriend became my husband, and I was lost on the fringes of his pillow for years and years.

It is hard to make time and get motivated to meditate on my meditation cushion in my busy life. It’s even harder to identify my actions with and feelings about others when I’ve left my pillow and it’s time to go back to my own. Most days I would rather just stay on my pillow alone forever. But day by day I am getting more comfortable with the idea that I will one day be capable of keeping one foot on my own pillow and another on a brand new one that I can create with someone I love.

And the best part is that now I have discovered that when I’m lonely and confused, I can find answers by hanging out on a comfy zafu with someone I love and respect…me.



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