I went to New York this past weekend to visit some dear friends. I camped on their couch, cuddled their dog, and gleefully (and cluelessly) cheered on Kansas University in the KU vs Missouri college basketball game (KU won by one point in overtime, okay, it was a very intense game). We ate guacamole and cookies, shopped some great sales, (I) complained bitterly about how much colder than Boston it was, but far and away the most important thing that happened on my trip was hearing what my amazing friend J. had to say. She is a teacher, a phenomenal one at that, and she teaches very, very difficult children. Autism, behavioral disorders, developmental delays - she deals with them all. Girl can move mountains for those kids, and honestly, I swear she does. She told me about a conversation she had with one of her students when he was having a meltdown one day. She told him, "I know that you're having some really big feelings right now, and that's okay. I also know that because those feelings are so big it might be hard for you to hear what I'm going to tell you. That's okay too, because I'll tell you again when you're not having such big feelings. Here's the thing: feelings never last forever. They always change. So even though right now, your big, big feelings are making you scream and cry, they won't last forever. I promise."
What a lesson to be learned. Feelings always change. Always. Nothing ever stays the same, and the pit of sorrow you're in one day won't be the same on the next, just like the cloud you're flying on one day won't be there the next day either. And that's okay. Sometimes our feelings are big and scary, sometimes they're smaller and more easily managed, but regardless - they never last forever. What a relief, huh? To know that even in our darkest hour, the hour will not last forever.
I love my friend. I love everything she does for me. But above all, I love her heart. It's big enough for all her wonderful, difficult students, and it's even big enough for me. My big, big feelings about her are one thing that will never change.