What The Legacy of Amanda Todd Invites Us To Feel About Ourselves

By Kathleen Calder

There have been many articles circulating around Amanda Todd’s suicide – a catastrophic (and very catalytic) incident that recently received lots of media attention.

To summarize, the story of Amanda Todd is about a teenage girl who was bullied by both men and women, to the point where she could no longer bare it all and in one last outcry for help, posted a video of herself. Here’s the link, if you wish to see it for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej7afkypUsc

I just watched it for the first time and to say that my heart broke for her is a tragic understatement. I wanted nothing more than to reach out and hold her hand…not try to give her advice or tell her everything would be ok, but to just hold her and let her cry, or scream, or any outburst she needed in the moment. I would have sat with her for hours. I would have turned off my cell phone and bring every part of myself forward to meet her. To coax her own parts out to be felt. To just be with her.

It makes me wonder if she had anybody at all who could have done that for her. It feels as if no one around her knew how to offer her that. Or even worse…that they were afraid to even try.

On a personal note, Amanda’s situation could have easily happened to myself or any of my friends that I had in my pre-teen and teen years. Even when I was in university it could have happened to me. As women we sometimes become so fused with a part(s) of ourselves when a man showers us with “you’re beautiful”-s that the voice and feeling of our real, authentic, self-loving hearts becomes drowned out. Many a compromising situation could be avoided if we didn’t pounce on any ounce of male approval that comes our way.

I’m still working through this, namely with two of my emerged parts, Maria and Karrie. Maria was once known as my “seductress” part, while Karrie represents aspects of my teenaged self. They both have their own ideas and feelings around romance and attraction – how to attract and what they want to attract. I was never taught how to properly be loved by a man and what to look for. My parents themselves did not have a very loving relationship and I can actually count on one hand the number of times I heard “I love you” from my own father. My older sister never had relationships that could model for me either, but how could she when we were both raised with the same relationship model in place?

I feel this may be the root of Amanda’s own parts having caused so many issues with men and making so many poor decisions. Her real, Sovereign (aka SFH) self got lost in the shuffle while her parts called the shots based on what they themselves had been taught. I feel she may have experienced a similar past life to the one I recalled a week ago today, about having been persecuted as a witch a few centuries ago. It seems she may have unconsciously set herself up for similar persecution in this life…and when no one would do the killing for her, she did it herself…still attached to any guilt she may have had in that previous life around her gifts, feeling as if it really was all her fault that things turned out the way they did.

Amanda Todd’s suicide has caused a tidal wave of emotion and a resurgence of “anti-bullying” messages. Her story pushes beyond bullying and enters well into the realm of the relationship between men and women. The story of the “Burning Times”, as the witch-hunts are called, is one that is still present today, though I would argue that it it’s remnants are felt not so much in a literal sense as they are embedded in the female psyche. The majority, if not all of us, were so barbarically persecuted that it left a branding on our souls forever. We unconsciously fear being hunted again and feel guilt for putting our sexuality and our gifts out into the world, reclaiming what is ours, feeling as if it is our own fault if we are persecuted for doing so and we have brought it all on ourselves.

History, even long-buried, will repeat itself again and again until it has been felt through those parts of ours that it remains with. If only Amanda had been given this gift…but you know what? Despite her tragic and heartbreaking story, she has given woman-kind a huge gift herself. She has highlighted the need to repair our relationship with men once and for all.

A pattern must be brought forward and healed. And I for one am jumping on board with all my heart.

Thank you, Amanda.

May you rest and find healing in the arms of the Divine.

Visit soulfullheart.com for more articles and information about the SoulFullHeart healing process. Go here for more articles by Kathleen Calder.

Emotionally Conscious Education: What’s Possible Between Adverbs and Algebra

By Chris Tydeman

I was invited by Jillian to write an article about emotionally conscious education and how our current school system supports or does not support it.  I am a third grade teacher.  My experience for several years has always been with children between the ages of 7-11.  An age I feel is ripe for setting a foundation for the turbulent world of the middle school years.  In this age range, children are more open to be honest and receptive to authentic emotional guidance.  If they like their teacher and see them as a real human being rather than an authority figure alone, they will “hear” us rather than just listen (if we are lucky!).  In this case, “hearing” is an aspect of feeling what I am saying.  You feel me?

I spend many hours a day with a population of children who come from a wide range of family dynamics. I chose not say cultural or economic dynamics because both of those, in my opinion, are included within the family dynamic as a whole.  At this age, they are beginning to form the early stages of their relationship to the outside world.  Their assumptions and feelings of themselves and others begin to take shape.  These formations are greatly impacted by their family dynamic.  If a child is neglected emotionally at home, they come to school depressed, angry, or needy.  What they need more than math is love.  More than cursive, is a place where they feel safe to express themselves.  Others come with a “what’s in it for me?” formation.  What they need is to feel empathy for others and the joy received from lending a helping hand or an encouraging word.

As a teacher, we call these “teachable moments”.  Unfortunately, they are not units or even lessons.  Just moments.  As someone who is becoming emotionally conscious, I find it my desire to be as authentic as I possibly can.  Just doing that, I hope to provide a model for being an authentic human being, not a robot.  If all teachers could be that, it would begin a shift toward an authentic respect from the students.  They would “buy” into us.  From that point, I try to provide a space where the students feel comfortable to express themselves in a way they ache for.  To be heard, understood, and felt.  Not judged or punished.  I let them know they can come to me if they need to.  The more students feel comfortable with me, the more willing they are to share.  It is imperative I be there “with” them during these times or I lose that trust.  When they do come, it is a great time to get the children to express their feelings.  This takes a long time, as it is foreign to them and to most of us.

During the school day, I have my students applaud other students for being brave at sharing their writing or math problem.  This hopefully supports and acknowledges self-worth.  When they have to cooperate, I must continually act out how they can respectfully communicate and how to bridge differences.  This is REALLY hard!  Probably the most difficult lesson to teach.  Their opinions of each other are so definitive that it is a challenge to deal with sometimes.  But with any challenge comes opportunity.  However, by this time, most teachers are so emotionally drained themselves, we lose our own patience.  It is a daily workout, but one that can bring the gift of a child hugging you for no reason other than the desire to show you that they love you.

As I began to write this, I was prepared to conclude that emotionally conscious education is a false hope.  But after reflecting on what happens on a daily basis, I feel it is possible and have experienced myself in moments.  For it to truly have legs, there would need to be more emotionally conscious teachers and administrators.  The curriculum doesn’t need to change, just our relationship to ourselves and our students.  It is possible because emotionally conscious education is what can happen in the moments between adverbs and algebra.

Note from Jillian: Children represent the young parts of ourselves. In loving and feeling them (whatever our role in their life is), we are also loving these young part of ourselves. Also, the more we create an emotionally conscious relationship with young parts of ourselves through journaling and having them felt by us and during sessions, the more our self love overflows to the children in our lives. Chris, who is engaged with the SoulFullHeart process, is growing in capacity to love and feel his parts, which opens up his heart to feel and care for his students in a deeper and more emotionally authentic way  beyond just teaching them academics. What shifts internally impacts our external world as well.

​Visit soulfullheart.com for more articles and information about the SoulFullHeart healing process.