I have had many great teachers in my life. Some have been in the classroom. My junior year high school English teacher inspired my love of literature. My college comparative literature professor-turned-adviser did as well. But most of the significantly impacting teachers in my life never held a credential. One high school friend of mine that walks slowly, saunters, taught me to slow down. Other high school friends taught me to appreciate diversity in perspectives. To accept people as they are and learn from what they have experienced. The students I taught over the course of 6 years taught me empathy and compassion. My husband taught me that relationships don’t need to be dramatic to be full of love and meaning. A dear friend of mine has taught me to recognize the light inside me, and how warm and beautiful it is, when I long believed it extinguished. That possibility always exists, we just need to turn our head in another direction to see it. That the universe wants to bring me my greatest good and is always full of abundance. From my fellow outpatient and after-care friends I have learned that we may be suffering alone, but we are not alone. That we may feel broken, but that sharing our brokenness heals us all.
And finally, my daughter. Through her I am learning every single day.
I have learned what it means to love so intensely I feel like my body can not contain it. I have learned that I can handle other people’s bodily fluids at 3 AM. I have learned that I can push myself beyond the limits of exhaustion and survive (it’s not a pretty picture though). I continue to revisit the lesson of patience. Over and over. I’m still working on that one. I’m still learning how to not react when my buttons are pushed. I struggle with that lesson. I have learned how to be present, even during the 100th game of princesses. And last but not least, I am learning forgiveness, for the mistakes I’m making along the way because I’m doing the best I can.