The Heart Within

I just finished writing a big essay on my main blog, called Spring and the Death of Denial. It was in response to a fantastic conversation on a philosophical radio program called On Being. Now, I’m hopping back into Dear Teachers, and am struck by how this week’s essay, the last of the April focus on what’s really there, connects to that.

When we don’t want people to see who and what we really are, we throw up defenses. When we don’t trust the people that surround us, we again build barriers. Within those walls, we are one thing. Outside of those walls, we are something else.

To grow, we first have to admit the walls exist within all of us. They come from our families and traditions. From our own pasts. From our own needs. From our own fears.

In this week’s essay, the image from Marlene that I chose was a close-up of a lily in full bloom. The center of that flower is bright yellow, while the outer edges are a deep red, trimmed in that same golden hue. We don’t get to see the full complexity of that bloom until it really opens up. How can we get ourselves blooming like that? How can we get each one of our students to bloom like that?

The walls that separate us from both our true selves and from each other have to come down.

I wrote, “If we hide long enough, the act becomes the actor’s reality.”. By that I meant that every single one of us is affected by all these walls we build. If I don’t reach out beyond the walls I was born into or have built myself, I miss out on understanding the real beauty of both myself and others. Others miss out on my gifts. We both are lessened. We’re like the bud in the background of Marlene’s shot: there, but not yet gorgeously exposed.

As Rev. williams pointed out in her talk, this work is hard. Sitting with who and what we really are is tough. But, in my mind, it’s critical to getting our world’s garden to really bloom.

By my count, we have about 28 more days of school this school year! Regardless, the world is opening and we have wonderful opportunities to bloom. Year-end is a great time to gift a special educator with thanks for their efforts and hopes for the next- please consider sharing Dear Teachers as a token of appreciation!

Best wishes to you all!!


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