The sweetest words we all long to hear: “Stay with me.”
In the poem "-sojourn" Nayyirah Waheed says, “we wear who stayed and who left in our skin forever.”
I have left and I have been left. I wonder sometimes if it’s all related; if perhaps I have been left because I left. If it’s some weird retribution for what I did. If I deserve it. If I have experienced this heartbreak because I instilled it upon someone else. And now we all wear it in our skin.
I have trusted only to find out motives are not genuine. I have encountered people who say the right words to my soft heart because they want to make a comfortable, temporary home in my soft soul, with no intention of staying to really take care of them both. I have loved people who say they love me, when what they really love is the way other people are drawn to me, because they think they can benefit from that. The fact that there is a heavy emotional toll on me associated with their pleasure and profit makes absolutely no difference to them. This world can be so confusing and flawed.
I am convinced we can do better by each other.
I have been told by many different souls, here in this realm and in others, that I am a natural born teacher. That leading and loving and guiding are part of my core purpose. I stepped away from teaching as a career two and a half years ago, and if I’m honest, I’ve been running away from teaching ever since, because I have told myself it’s too hard, it’s too emotional, it’s too painful. Because teaching, at the core, is not about teaching site words or math facts or the value of a quarter note to a child. Teaching is about showing every person you come across, regardless of their age, that we don’t use other people for personal gain. Teaching is about the fact that we, as people, should always prioritize taking care of each other. Teaching is showing someone that the truth is sometimes hard to say, but that you have to say it anyway. It’s about decency, and safety, and trust. It’s exhausting. It’s important.
In every relationship we teach and learn. Sometimes we encounter people with no sense of morality, or people who can't hear us because they are too far down in their own muck. If they will not allow our love to reach them, then we teach ourselves to walk away. We will be changed for the better for leaving, and we will always be in each other's skin; but we all deserve to be well cared for and loved.
Teaching is about who stays and who leaves, and it’s about how you decide to carry that with you. It’s about showing up and standing by and it’s just as much about walking away and letting go. It’s about trying to make this world just a little bit less confusing and flawed.
I am still a teacher. I am teaching. I am learning. Stay with me.