When my now 23 year old son was 14, he told me “Mom, I’m an undercover angel sent to teach you patience.” I smiled/grimaced at that statement, since I knew it was true. Nine years later, he’s still teaching and I’m still learning.
The life lessons that often come fast and furious, courtesy of a universe that only has my highest good in mind, are sometimes delivered on the ‘wings’ of such angels. “Wouldn’t it be lovely if our experiences were only fun and joyous, colorful and easy?”, I ask myself. “But then”, the inner dialog continues, “you wouldn’t have developed the emotional and spiritual muscles that keep you healthy and offer you fodder for your writing.” How cool is that? Is it worth the trade-off? I suppose so.
One of my hats is as a social worker in a psychiatric hospital. Daily, I remind my patients, some who want to be in the hospital for the solace, support, safety and stability that the setting offers and others who are quite vocally opposed to being there, “This is graduate school and you are the curriculum. Learn as much about yourself and who the man or woman in the mirror truly is, as possible. Be a life long learner. There are no grades, no pass-fail.” Some of them smile with understanding and acceptance of what I have said and others look at me as if I am speaking gibberish. Huh?
When I gaze backward at the life lessons that have come my way, I wonder what I have traded for such wisdom. Mostly fear, self doubt and sometimes self loathing. Times when I am consciously aware of my choices, I learn a great deal about what is possible for me and those I serve as teacher, writer, healer. First, though, I need to follow the principle “Healer, heal thyself.”
What undercover angels hover about you? What are you willing to learn from them?