There are few things in Systema (or life) that matter more than having support. I mean genuine, “I am so happy for you”-type of Grade A support.
I am in the most fortunate position to have this. When I received my Full Instructor certification back in 2010, my wife Lisa was as thrilled for me as I was for myself. We celebrated at one of our favorite restaurants in Disney.
When I come back after training in W. Palm or a seminar or even a regular Monday night class, she takes a genuine interest in what I have to say. It is not just “I will not get it the way and you can do whatever you want” approach. She wants to know who came, what was the lesson and what stood out. In fact, some of the “lessons behind the lessons” that I learned and passed along had a major impact on her life.
Mind you, I do not know if she even understands half of what I am saying, nor has any particular interest in the art of Systema. But I matter and thus, the training, the seminar or the class matters. She matters, and the fact that she takes the time and energy really, really, really matters.
In many ways, this has helped my Systema training and school as much as training with the great Instructors have helped. There is a completeness, a feeling that someone else wants to be a part of something that means so much to me, even if they do not wish to actually participate in it. This is simply a great feeling.
I have seen the opposite and the ensuing stress that accompanies it. Needing to “ask permission,” getting grief if too many dollars are spent on too many classes, or a quid pro quo (You go to Systema and I go $hopping.) These feel (at least to me) like a form of blackmail. It is pressure that would eventually get to me I suspect.
Even worse would be no reaction at all. Zero. Nada. Nyet. Accomplishments are met with unemotional indifference. Blandness. I feel compassion for peopple in these types of situations. Granted finishing a seminar or getting a Teaching Certification will not be on the cover of Newsweek or front page Google, but in our little sliver of the world, it matters. It feels great.
I do not know how things will end, when they will end and what happens next, but my suspicions are this: I know you cannot take things with you, but I suspect you can take memories. I will not remember the time when I did an incredible job mowing the lawn or painting the fence or cleaning the garage, but I will remember the day I received my first black belt or the day I received my Systema Certification. It matters, if only on the smallest scale. It only to a couple of people out of 7 billion.
More importantly, it matters because I had someone to share it with. Someone to whom it mattered also.
For this, I will always be grateful to my wife, Lisa.