I made videos for my Unravellers today, and when i briefly mentioned my nephew I could feel myself getting emotional; at the moment I just have to look at a photograph of him and my eyes mist over. Talking to my sister the other day she confirmed that ever since my bereavement I’ve seemed able to cry more easily than I ever did before. And she’s right. I don’t remember being particularly UNemotional before he died, but the more i consider this the more I can see the truth of how I am now – grief took off my skin, and what has grown back seems more permeable and tender. I’ll admit to pushing a lot down too – the uncomfortable stuff, like the secret yearning to be held in the middle of the night, or feeling wistful when yet another friend gets engaged. These feelings get pushed down because it’s so much easier that way; to be living constantly on the edge of our emotions is exhausting. Truly feeling our emotions heals them, absolutely, but it also requires much sitting-on-the-sofa-with-chocolate, and I seem to have less time to do that these days. And then Noah enters the room, two months ago today. I saw his little face come out, and the slippery smallness of his body carried up and over into my sister’s arms. And I didn’t know it at the time, but my heart opened right then in preparation for what was to come; if I’d listened closely I would have heard the rip as the bandages came off. And now I watch an old episode of House and I’m in floods of tears at the end; my empathy levels are suddenly off the charts.
In last Thursday’s post Grete asked me a question in the comments: ‘When did you feel spiritually, mentally and emotionally mature enough to teach? This is a personal question, as I’m about to do just that… The best advice I’ve come across so far is Neale Donald Walsch saying – A spiritual leader does not say “Follow me”. A spiritual leader says, “I’ll go first”. ‘
I wanted to answer this here as my immediate thought was: I don’t think i will ever feel spiritually, mentally or emotionally mature enough to teach. All i can do is share what has worked for me. What I’ve seen. What I’ve felt. I’ve discovered I’m good at bringing people together – making tribes – so i’ll keep doing that and just share what i know.
I’m not a teacher, I’m a reporter. I report back to the troops. I’m a compulsive bean-spiller, too. But for some reason the word teach scares the crap out of me.
I was hit with the Fear Stick today, the bone-chilling panic that I am not qualified to write the book I’ve been asked to write. A wise and helpful book. I can’t do that, it feels too big and responsible. So i’ve scooped up all my expectations and locked them in a drawer; instead I’m going to just share what I know. It’s all I’ve got, really. I will tell you my story in words and pictures and if some of it shines a ray of light so you can see your way better then that will be enough for me. I’m not an expert in anything other than how i glued myself back together after a grenade went off in my life.
And how much I love my nephew.