It’s been a week.
A week of new information, really difficult information. I believed one thing to be true and learned that it was not the case.
I guess when someone says to me I love you the most as they are leaving to go home I believe them. And maybe that is my mistake, believing and seeing the very best in people. Maybe it is a misunderstanding, but to say it is a disappointment would be an understatement.The messages were so mixed, a code breaker couldn’t have deciphered them. There was weeping, there was wailing, and there for sure was some gnashing of teeth. A longtime love and friendship disintegrated like a powdery, ancient, cheese and peanut butter cracker left on the shelf for over a decade to be purchased and consumed. Just like my heart.
And was I to blame, sure. For some. But what am I guilty of? Loving. Daring. Being Vulnerable. And Failing. Being all in. Being Brave. At least I was honest. Always.
Unrequited Love a true story.
As I was teaching this week I was taught a lesson..this happens a lot. The teacher is taught by the student. I will change the names of the students to Jack and Jill to illustrate my point.
I was bringing the students into class one morning. My student Jill came up to me and said, “Ms. Tidwell I have a big problem I need help with.”
O.K. I replied.
Well, Ms. Tidwell Jack and I have this secret…..(In my head I am like…what. is. this. secret.??) She said, it makes me really uncomfortable. I don’t like it. It just makes me feel nervous and sick. My Mom said maybe you could help me with it.
O.K. I replied. What is it?
Now remember, this is a seven year old second grade student.
Jack wants to marry me, and I just don’t know about it. (Me trying to stifle a smile and giggle but squint my eyes to be serious) I mean we are best friends but what if I don’t like him when I am older, or what if someone better comes along? The whole thing makes me feel SO nervous and I don’t even want to come to school.
To which I replied, Jill I will for sure help you with this problem and I can understand why you feel nervous about it. We will talk about it after we get everyone settled with morning work. Is that ok?
To which she nodded and said, Thank you. With a sigh of relief.
So I get everyone settled and I call Jack and Jill to come outside the classroom door so we can have a private chat.
Jack’s eyes are as wide as saucers. The poor little guy doesn’t even know what is going on.
So Jill, I say. You have something you want to talk to Jack about, is that right?
Jill is super anxious but blurts out, Jack I don’t think I want to marry you. It makes me super uncomfortable.
I’m sorry Jill says Jack. Jack’s big eyes fill up with tears and he wholeheartedly and full of emotion says, “BUT Jill, you are my best friend and I LOVE YOU!
Now, my tender recently wounded heart is just breaking for Jack. I can FEEL for him.
Jill who is anxious also blurts out, and I don’t want to play with you at recess. Plus, what if when I am older, I find someone better that I want to marry?
And I say, Jack may also find someone he loves more when he is older as well.
And you know, I can also FEEL for Jill and I know exactly where she is coming from.
Jack says, but Jill can’t we play at recess?
No Jack, you decided that we were not going to play at lunch recess and we are playing an 8 person game.
Jack says, I think I changed my mind, can we make it a 9 person game? I just want to play with you. He is crying a lot now.
Jill says, No Jack it isn’t a 9 person game.
I say can you just be friends and play hot lava or some other game where everyone can play, not worry about getting married, and just be friends?
Jack agrees to not talk marriage anymore, and Jill agrees to let Jack play with her at recess.
We enter back into the classroom and I sit at the doc cam to teach. Where I am overcome with emotion because this little scenario hits close to home. I love you, you are my best friend, why can’t we be friends, maybe I will find someone better. I try with all my might to pull it together.
Nope. No. Not happening.
The tears begin to fall and there is nowhere for me to hide. I can’t hide the fact that I am in front of 24 children crying. So I say, Who here has had a really bad morning? They all raise their hands. Have any of you ever been sad? They all nod their heads. I continue, I am very sorry but right now I feel so very sad and I don’t want to cry but I am having kind of a tough morning. As small children do, they empathize. They ask? Why are you sad? And I just say, I just am. I put my head in my hands in front of my class and cry. And the next thing I know I am surrounded in the sweetest, most tender seven year old group hug with children saying, “I love you Ms. Tidwell. We all love you Ms. Tidwell” I say, I love you too. Thank you so much, you know just how to make my day happy and we went on with our work.
Is it best practice to cry in front of your class? I have never done it before, but that day I couldn’t help it. My students were so tender that day. They held my hand as we walked, they gave me side hugs. They wrote me notes and they left Halloween candy on my desk. I think sometimes, it might just be best practice to have opportunities to love and be loved in return.
And so I say to the fellow, Thank you for not really loving me.
It has opened the door for me to love myself. I have sat on the back burner for long enough. No more.
Have you ever thought you were fine and then you realize you aren’t? That is what has happened to me. I have realized that I have some work to do and I am doing it. Inside heart healing work and outside work too. I am not one to look work in the face and run but to face it head on and tackle it. I was afraid to start the heart healing work. I thought it would hurt like physically hurt. Have you ever had emotional pain that physically hurt? I have. However, as I did the work with help, I came away feeling lighter and hopeful. I felt some serious trauma lift and I made connections to feelings I had been having and the actions I had taken. Two sessions in and I can already feel the change. I know there is hope for me to heal more.
You know, I thought I had done the work. I had no idea this was lurking below the surface but as I have looked at my life the last seven years I have come to realize that I was in survival mode. I was a Mom first, and I had a wonderful but demanding profession and that ate up all my time. Sometimes, you don’t know something’s broken until you see that it is. I think it is easy to say, get over it already. I have thought that before about other people, for sure. But when it is you who needs to get over it, the answers aren’t always that simple and sometimes you need help and understanding, empathy, and true friends.
Thank you to my true, kind, loving, have my back friends. This week would have been unbearable without you. I love you. You do not know the tender feelings and love I feel for you. Thank you for loving me. Because of you my testimony has been strengthened in the love my Savior has for me, and it was through you that I felt his love so tenderly.
So, I am loving me again. I am doing the work, the work to be wholehearted. I am running again, which clears my mind and emotions. I am training for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. I love to listen to Eminem when I run. and today his song, Not Afraid really hit home. Not Afraid if you want to listen. It’s a good running song. Then Laura and I went to HIIT HOT Yoga. It was a HIIT work out to hip hop music and yoga at the end in a hot yoga room. It was really awesome. I felt like the athlete in me was waking up and I have hope to run a big race in February. I have goals, I am going to take care of my mind, body, and spirit.
XOXO- I have been through the ringer, but they can do little to the middle finger. The Sunny D.