Don’t Judge. No, Really, Don’t.

I was not going to write about this – after all, there’s enough garbage out there.  But as you probably have heard, Bikram Choudhury, the founder of Bikram Yoga, has been sued by a former student, Sarah Baughn, alleging sexual harassment.  The key word there is “alleging”.   Nothing has been proved – or disproved.

But then in my email, I got this post from a blog I follow.  Go ahead and read it – you’ll notice that many of the comments are mine.  I hate that to make my point, more people are going to read this wrongheaded post from someone whose writing and thoughts I normally admire.  Still, there is a point to be made.

Anyone who lives in the United States, or knows the basics of our justice system, knows that it relies upon the precept that you are innocent until proved guilty.   As said best by Maimonides:  “It is better and more satisfactory to acquit a thousand guilty persons than to put a single innocent one to death.”  And just because the accuser is female, and I am female, does not mean that her accusations are not subject to the same rules.  If you believe that, you are no better than those who would give a man’s opinion more weight simply because he is a man.

So, folks, let’s wait and see.  lady-justice Justice may be blindfolded, but she is also female, armed with a sword as well as her scales.  As flawed as the system is, I prefer to  make my decision on the issue after it’s been tried, rather than based on one lawsuit, various rumors, and press coverage.  Wouldn’t you want that to be true for you?

As far as my personal Bikram practice goes, as my friend A.R.P.  says:   “Whatever happens, you practice for the practice, not the guru.”  See you in class!

Tell Me About Yourself

So I’ve gotten hooked on this new TV series, Monday Mornings.   Like another fave, Grey’s Anatomy, it’s set in a hospital.  Last night’s episode included a story line about a young man who, out of the blue, had a stroke.  After much drama (it is television, after all), they took him off the ventilator and allowed him to pass with dignity.

What’s my point, you ask?  Well, this started me thinking about a dear friend I lost in 2006.  He and I had known each other for many years, and I don’t think anyone who knew us would say we were not close.  But when E. passed (suddenly, too young, with no warning – now do you see the connection to the TV show?), I found out all kinds of things about his life outside our friendship that he and I had never discussed.  And for a brief moment, I wondered if that meant our friendship was not as important to him as it was to me.  There were certainly those at his funeral who seemed to think so.

But no.  There are some relationships that are all about all the details outside you and me, and there are some that live in the moment, and the details of other times will only come up when they relate to the present.  Both are equally valid.  Cartoon_Woman_Laying_on_a_Couch_Talking_to_Her_Therapist_101015-002946-915042 I learned that there is no formula for a friendship, and there is no need to judge my relationship by someone else’s standards.  So those people who thought my friendship was less “important” because E. and I did not share all the details of our lives outside our tight little bubble can go to hell.  We shared what was meaningful to us.

The same day we lost E., I lost another friend – also too young, and also with basically no warning.  (Yeah, that was some week.)  The point being though, that this man, P., was loved by many who barely knew him, and there were those who tried to say that that group of his friends did not have as valid a reason to grieve.  A very wise mutual friend said it all when she said (I’m sure I’m paraphrasing) that “everyone’s grief is real, and everyone has the right to mourn”.

Maybe you share everything – maybe you share very little.  But as long as you are totally and completely honest, it’s okay.  Really, it is.

Fear

There’s been a lot going on in my life lately.  Some things have been ironed out – yay! – and are back on track.  But some medical issues are just going on… and on… and on…

I’m a good patient usually.  I come in with all the needed information; I am always on time for my appointments; I follow up appropriately; and I’m really, really, really nice to the staff.  But recently, the colossal incompetence of a particular radiology department has sent me over the edge.  Back story:  after a check-up, my doctor advised me to see a neurologist.  In order to rule out some very scary things – like, oh, cancer or a brain tumor – I then had an MRI.  So far, so good.  No cancer.  No brain tumor.  But not normal.   Okay…time for further MRIs.  Sure, I’ll go.  To make this long story short, I never had the tests.  I tried.  Twice.

So now what?  Well, it took several years for me to get a correct diagnosis for my Sjogren’s, given poor diagnostic skills at the major teaching hospital where I went to grad school.  It took a full year and every test known (it seemed) for the best gastroenterologist in New York to diagnose the cause of a severe abdominal pain.  Clearly, I’m stubborn enough to do the work that it will apparently take to find out what is going on now.1044343-Royalty-Free-RF-Clip-Art-Illustration-Of-A-Cartoon-Scared-Woman-Curled-Up-In-A-Fetal-Position

But in the meantime…I’m scared.  I don’t like uncertainty.  I am not bothered so much by change, but not knowing makes me crazy.  I just want to curl up under the covers with the cats and not come out until I have answers.  But we all know life is not like that.  There’s work to be done, cats to be entertained, yoga classes to attend, and drinks to drink.  Plus I’m just far too stubborn (yes, I said it again) to allow fear to immobilize me.  And stubborn will beat incompetent every. damn. time.

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