There are so many levels and definitions of love. It really means so much to so many, but often it is twisted and choked by what it is “supposed” to be. People shackle love with expectations and regulations because they want to save themselves from the pain of “loving” someone or something too much. Many years ago, I started to realize this strangling love is not really love at all. Love is this flow of energy which I feel in people every day, and it got me to thinking about love as a feeling and asking, “What is an indication of love?”
How do I love thee…let me count the ways, Shakespeare wrote. At least I think he said something like that, but how do I know I love thee? I think today while I was brewing my cup of coffee I came up with something. Love means being okay with learning more. Love means being at peace with being wrong. Love means not having to be right.
I came to this conclusion after a teacher friend of mine was trying to help me come up with a solution for my most recent lesson. Some of my students were way ahead. Some were right on target. Many were far behind. She was telling me to let go of my timeline and my expectations of when something should be done. It was hard to hear, but I know she was right. My compliance with their abilities help in supplying FAEP, which ensures a fair and equitable education, but I needed to go back to the drawing board to figure out how to help them. My co-teacher was less enthusiastic about this. Despite her special education degree and background, she was less than sympathetic.
“But what if we know they have the skills, why would we hold them up from continuing through the process?” she asked.
“If they’ve already mastered the skill, then why are you teaching it?” my friend asked. It was a good question, and the truth was we didn’t know if they mastered it. My co-teacher just “thought” they could do it if they tried. It was backwards and she knew it, but she was starting to get pissed. I could feel it. The more she was questioned, the less she wanted to discuss.
“I can’t think about this now,” she responded and she packed up her stuff and left. I couldn’t blame her, and I also know she cares very much about the kids, but she couldn’t stand to even think about her thinking. To protect herself from being wrong, she needed to shut down the conversation.
What about me makes me different? It is my love of teaching.
I love the craft of teaching. I love it so much I am okay with being wrong so I can find the right answer for my students. My true adoration for the craft of teaching is so deep I would rather rethink my educational narratives than misstep and not teach my students in the best way possible.
Isn’t this what we always do for the things and people we love? Once I saw this as a loving behavior, I saw it in my family relationships as well. With my BF being right is never the objective. Seeing the world through his eyes and understanding him and truly hearing him mean more to me than my ever being right. All of the interactions I have with my sons look the same way. I care more about hearing their voices and understanding their feelings more than I care about controlling their behavior and doing things that make them feel small.
Love means making the choices which speak to the highest good for all, not just for ourselves.
Love and Light!