During the second round of speeches in my class, several students hesitated or stumbled on their words and, if they happened to look out at me, I was smiling. I didn’t smile because they were making a mistake, I smiled because I knew they would get past it. I smiled because I knew they were learning.
We don’t run to pick up babies every time they fall as they are learning to walk. We watch them try and we smile. We know they will get it.
I don’t worry about my students. I know they will learn. I don’t see them as incomplete.
I see them as whole.
I see them as adults.
I know they are on a beautiful mountain trail that will continue to go up and down.
This week, a student passed out in my class and the paramedics had to come. In 13 years of teaching, I have never had a medical emergency, and there I was, witnessing one as the leader of the class.
During the episode, as the student lost and regained consciousness, I was oddly unworried.
I sat by the student’s side.
I told the class it was ok.
I knew this person was strong.
I saw this person as whole.
I was not surprised when they revived and eventually walked out of the room unharmed.
Outside of my work, I sometimes find myself worried about my friends and family. I want to offer unsolicited advice. When they make mistakes, I tense up with concern. When they have emergencies, I sometimes feel like a part of me is suffering too.
This is a pattern I am learning to break. Why?
Because it doesn’t help.
Everyone is whole.
Everyone is strong.
Everyone will recover from their mistakes.
Everyone will learn.
Everyone will go through difficult times and may even fall to the floor.
We will all get back up again.
No one needs me to think, feel, or breathe for them. I can offer help if it’s wanted. I can call for assistance in an emergency. But, most often, no one needs my advice. No one needs me to worry. No one needs my stress added to their own.
We are all, always, whole.
Beautiful reader: I see you out there. I’m see that I am just like you. I see you trying. I see you stumbling. I see you falling. I see you getting back up. I see you trying again. I see how far you’ve come. I see how hard you’ve worked. I see how much you love. I see how much you care. I see you go downhill and uphill again. I see that you are brave and strong.
I see you, always, as whole.