Mind is shuttled to Spring of 2006. The class: Evolution of the Metaphysical Heart. Enrolled in two other classes, this one I had passed over the first time. Then one of my other classes got canceled, thus I found myself pulled back to the heart—pulled by the heart.
Where I begin is the end, toward the end. We are in our final weeks of a wondrous class where we will present our final project to the whole class, integrating what we learned during our heart journeys.
Presentations underway. He was young man, maybe in his mid-thirties, dressed in kaki slacks, hair combed back. He sat before the class in a chair, held his paper in his hand. He began by stating that the only reason he took this class is because he needed the credits to complete his business degree. All the rest of us were in the liberal arts completion program—a holistic approach different than what I’ve seen at the other nearby schools. This man begins by saying that he has chosen to explore alcoholism because it’s in his family and that he wanted to be able to look upon his father with an open heart, to understand, to accept, to forgive. But before he could get all the words out, the paper in his hand began shaking; he put his other hand up to cover his eyes, and then he sobbed. All of us gasped quietly, some of us started crying. The instructor went over to him and put her rich brown hand on his shoulder. He took a moment, and then with a voice that has just broken out in tears, he said that he didn’t realize he was going to get so much out of the class and the whole experience with his final project.
You see, he had discovered that he was also an alcoholic and he and his girlfriend had a fight while he was drunk, and he saw himself—he saw that he had the family addiction and how it was putting strain on his own life. He lightened up during his talk, opened up, and he said that as a result of this project and his explorations, he had been able to forgive his father for some of the wrongs he had inflicted upon him. And he was now in a twelve-step program and he could feel that he and his wife had made an important breakthrough, and they were going to make it through the rocky times they had been having. He said he realized he had been in denial. To find forgiveness, like that—by chance, must be like flying. He would probably have some more challenges to face, but that he was able to find it within himself—to think with his heart—and forgive not only his father, but himself was the most profound sharing of forgiveness.
When he finished and got up, the teacher said, “let’s have a group hug,” in her happy singsong voice, followed by her deep laugh. Lightness. We all got up from our chairs, gathered in the center of the room and we did just that. And I suppose, he would go on to be a businessman, but he would be one with heart.