I’m taking a live online course on relationships. Eighteen of us from around the world have met for the past four Saturdays. Our work is based on the ideas of Patricia Albere. She sees the possibility that humankind can experience “mutual awakening” – the freedom of enlightenment experienced by two or more people together.
Part of our time together is spent listening to the teacher (Keren) speak. And then there are times when each of us is paired with another participant for half an hour, doing an exercise meant to deepen the sense of connection.
During yesterday’s course, I pressed “Yes” to join my first 1-1 session and up popped … Patricia. Fear coursed through me and words started racing: “The founder … famous person … smart person”.
Patricia went first and I watched myself flip back and forth between wallowing in my “stuff” and having my consciousness be inside her. Again and again I brought myself back from terror and fell into the sweetness of relationship, only to see it slip away again.
When it was my turn, I told Patricia of my fear. She got me. And bit by bit another perception came through: That was a human being over there, admittedly one with great gifts, but in another sense quite ordinary, with the joys and sorrows that we all know.
We laughed a lot. We enjoyed each other’s company. I got to glimpse that I’m no more and no less than anyone else. And maybe, just maybe, comparing is plain silly.
I started thinking of the Grade 5 and 6 kids I volunteer with. I wonder if some of them are nervous around me, thinking that I’m a smart adult and they’re “just a kid”. Hmm. It feels like my job to talk to them from a “level” place, not like a pronouncement from on high.
Eleven-year-olds, Patricia and me. All with something precious to give.