I walk in to the group homes or programs each week as the teacher, but really, I am the student…Yesterday this proved to be true in such a powerful way. I was teaching at an amazing program, the name I will keep anonymous for now for the purpose of the blog, but it has to be said that I always leave that building wanting to be better. The compassion, the dedication of the humans making it run, the palpable determination and unwavering acceptance radiating within those walls can’t help but to release out into the world. After finishing my class, the director mentioned another program in the county that would benefit from our program. She went on to say that these are really rough young ladies and they would need a strong individual to go in there in teach. I then shared a little bit of my professional history in that I started my career working with high-risk juvenile offenders living in a commitment facility and this is exactly the population I would like to target for our program. My story was followed by another staff member offering a little about her history “in” commitment facilities. She said that she had been in almost every commitment facility and treatment program in this county and a few others. At first I thought she meant as a direct care staff, but I then realized, she meant as a client. I was stunned to see this articulate, positive, compassionate, encouraging, bright light of a woman stand here before me teasingly say that she was “bad” as a teenager. I was immediately filled with a small sense of hope thinking that maybe some of the young ladies I had once worked with were able to come through in a similar way. Her generosity in sharing her story did not stop there. She was born to a crack addicted mother, human trafficked, came in to her own addiction to crack, and found love in multiple abusive relationships. She felt love through abuse the way so many feel love in a hug or a kiss goodnight. Her history of mental torment still manifests physically today in the form of scars on her arm from cutting. Her saving grace came, in a complete twist of fate, in the form of a man who showed her what real, empowering and safe love is and she found that she started to crave him more than the drugs. She noted that she gave up drugs for him at first, but later able to recognize that she stayed off of drugs for herself. She became saved yet again by becoming a mother. She did not want her child to be raised the same way she was, but this again, is just another indicator of this woman’s grit. Ultimately, she was not saved by anything or anyone, but herself. The odds were stacked against her and she blasted that shit down! She is a true lotus in human form! Yesterday, I taught a few people to stretch and get present with the now. I LEARNED that humans are amazing and lessons are there for the taking when you take the time to listen.

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