Sunday, April 26, 2009

Courage


I spent all of yesterday, in between loads of vacation laundry, to catch up on all of your blogs. What I found was a phenomenal number of blogs that are exhibiting courage right now. Courage in a variety of ways. We have an over-worked and stressed mother reaching out for a small baby in a bad home environment. It will mean taking on a family member. We all know how easy that is! We have a young woman reaching out, and actually doing something, for a young mother and her three tiny children who found themselves homeless and on the streets. A young girl in India showing up to tutor children who's only school is a dusty yard in front of a shackled building. The list goes on and on. People overcoming anxiety and other devastating illnesses to get better, and in so doing, are inspiring others to do the same.

One of those people inspired to show some courage is myself. Let me preface this by saying, my Achilles heel is children and animals. I spent years in school with the idea of becoming a family counselor. But I always knew, and my husband reinforced, that there was no way I could be objective when it came to children. A very important and necessary trait of a good therapist. So, instead I decided to take a job offer at a hospital where I was doing my internship. I worked in a wellness division and really enjoyed supervising a variety of programs. But it wasn't what I was trained to do, nor was it following the path I was meant to tread.

All the while, since working, and moving from state to state, I have had the intention of getting back to volunteer work. Specifically with needy families and children. But I kept putting it off. And I continue to put it off. 

Until last night. I had an epiphany and the light turned on. 

What I realized, is that I am protecting myself from the hurt that will come from working with children and families that are struggling. There will be those tiny faces, so at the mercy of the adults in their lives, that I will be limited in helping. And I will worry and stress and bring it home with me. I will be uncomfortable. I will be sad at times, furious in others. In other words, it's going to take courage. But if all of you can be courageous - why can't I? You have inspired me to go out tomorrow afternoon to our local Children's Cabinet and roll up my sleeves. There has never been a time that our world needed courageous, loving people, more than now. It's time, as Pema Chodron suggests "to lean into the points". Face our fears head-on, and, in the process feel the pain, but also reap the rewards.

Thank you peeps, you are the greatest!

35 comments:

Andrea said...

Oh my, courage is a wonderful thing, isn't it? It makes people do the most amazing things, things that often scared them half silly. But the feeling of power afterwords is priceless.

I have a saying posted to the bulletin board above my desk - it's about hope and courage - the two things I hold onto for dear life!

Good for you, your courage and your ephiphany - I can tell by your writing that you have a lot to give and will make a difference!

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Beautiful! Good for you!!! Hurrah!!! Embrace the pain and the joy, and you'll receive strength for the journey!And the world will LOVE you!~Janine XO

MzzLily said...

I should think your prejudice toward children will only make you better at it! You go, girl!

Rain said...

That's similar to how I feel about the dog shelter. I'm afraid of feeling more hurt and loss, and also being helpless (in a way) to make everything okay for them. You are courageous to face your fear - good for you! I guess on the other side of that loss is pride and reward that you are unselfishly giving your love and time to a those who desperately need it. I volunteered for Meals on Wheels two years ago, and had to give it up within 2 days because I couldn't emotionally handle seeing how some of the seniors live - the conditions of their living spaces that is. I guess I'm not ready yet, but you seem to be ready - or else you'd still be putting if off it right? I grab courage from others too and I'm also grateful for that!

And thanks Lover of Life.

Expat From Hell said...

You are an inspiration to us all - to reach farther, to expose our hearts more. After all, something got ignited during all of that exposure you had to those needy people. And now, there you go! Keep up the great work, and the great postings!

EFH

Breeze said...

How wonderful! What an inspiring post! Good luck! Those children will be so lucky!

A Clockwork Orange said...

very positive, very inspiring :) you made my week. :)

Desiree Leigh Thompson said...

How wonderful and inspiring. I am truly happy that you shared your story with us. As you, I too wanted to work with children and youth. I believed by doing so my emotions would get in the way. I was protecting myself because it's challenging to see the children's bright eyes dim from life's circumstances. But now that I have heard your story I feel some courage coming through. Thank you again for sharing!

CrazyCris said...

very inspiring! Makes me feel like I should be doing more as well! But after years of putting friends and family before myself I've come to realise that there from time to time you've go to put yourself first, can't help others when you're on your way to become a wreck! So once I've gotten my act together and my life back on track I might look into how I can follow your good example.

good luck with that!

linda said...

it indeed takes courage to lean into the pain of this one...i myself, know i could not do it directly but perhaps from afar if my stability could be counted on...i admire your intense deliberate motivation and determination to make this happen...my heart is with you and those you will come to help and love...

many many blessings...

MrsSchlereth said...

How very courageous!!

Star said...

Yes, it will be hard, but very rewarding and you will learn to cope and leave your work at work. Good luck with it.
Blessings, Star

Chris Wolf said...

YAY! We've been waiting for you!

Joanne said...

What a wonderful decision, and how great to be inspired by other bloggers. It is such an inspiring community. You in turn are an inspiration for others to follow their hearts, particularly if it is for the good of others. Best wishes to you!

Kathy's Klothesline said...

I salute you.....

Gemel said...

:-)lovely...

Kathy G said...

I feel petty and small after reading your inspiring post.

I've volunteered for many things over the years, but right now not so much. Maybe it's time to start again.

Verily I go. said...

Soft vulnerable place. You will open your mind, your heart, your arms and you will steel yourself from tears. I salute you too. Bravo. Truly inspirational. In my mind I will hold you hand and hope to be as brave as you.

susan said...

I know this is a huge decision for you and with it you inspire so many more. There will indeed be pain and aggravation but also those small and priceless awards that only love can bring.

Hilary said...

Very inspiring.. good for you. Now you've got me thinking....

Kay said...

I think it is wonderful for you to take the steps of actions to help those in need; everyone should!! Also, I know and feel the same stresses about it; however, try to allow yourself the ability to imagine, not what you can't do for people, but what you WILL and CAN do for them. The rewards will always out weigh the negative. Best of luck in your outreach.

jae! said...

I've always enjoyed reading your blog entries but I think today made the biggest impact. See.. I am a student now and I've been thinking about what I want to do in life. I've always loved kids, animals and things like that. I love to talk to people, get involved in their life and try to make little changes. I wish that I can help them by listening so I wanted to be a psychologist but people around started telling me that I won't be able to do that because I will get too involved and I will just ruin my life in the end. There is a need to draw the line and me being me, I can't. So I started pondering over whatever they said and I was cajoled to conform to whatever they said. It was really sad but I accepted it. BUT, today you show me something so meaningful. Yes, all I need is the courage to do it. So thank you, thanks so much for allowing me that chance :)

No matter what I end up choosing, I'll always keep in mind what you said today. It takes courage for everything and anything. And allow me to say that whatever you decided on doing is so beautiful. Good luck! :D

Beatriz Kim said...

I had the exact same journey. I stayed away from working with kids because I knew it would be hard and difficult. I knew they would literally become my children.

Finally, I gave in and started working with children. It is the most difficult and most rewarding experience of my life. It's really hard...really hard...to see so many children in need...but it's so rewarding to see them smile. To able to give them the smallest time of relief and happiness.

With my background and my training, I am able to communicate with kids in a magical sort of way. This is most apparent when I work with children who have autism. Parents finally see improvement in their child! They talk, they cuddle, and they act like "normal" children around me.
Oh, I miss them so much!

They are still inside of me...they'll always be there. But I'm so happy to have met all those wonderful souls! Such beautiful souls! One little guy still asks for me by name...after 7 months!

I'm crying so hard, but this pain I do not regret. I would never take it back! They made my world more beautiful. It was definitely a give and take.

I am absolutely certain that your experience will be hard, but also as rewarding as mine has been. What a gift you will be to those children! They always...always know when someone really cares for them. You will see that for yourself!

Thank you so much for this post! I needed to be in touch with that emotion.

Sorry it's so long.

Have a great week!

mo'ikeha said...

...exactly what I needed - thank you...

asweetcakes said...

Courage is hard, but the results are worth it. Your post made me wonder whether i have ever done anything really courage, for myself or for somebody else...i don't think i have and its a really big shame! I'll have to look for opportunities to really test my courage. I believe i'll be a better person for it.

...and thanks for your postings on my blog. I understand what you mean by earth day and materialism now.

willow said...

Thanks for sharing your inspiring epiphany. Lovely post.

Lori ann said...

I do know what you are saying Love, it will be so hard, but thank goodness for people like you. You really are a love.

Bogey said...

I agree with your husband about being careful about entering a field where emotions will overide sound decision making. When I was young,I had a desire to become a Social Worker.Because I was raised in a foster home, I thought this would give me some good insight. However, I was talked out of it by one of my workers. She basically told me if I got involved in that field it would be like mixing oil and vingegar. Now I understand why. I do hope you find some great satisfaction in your volunteer work. A lot of people, especially children will benefit from your compassion and empathy.

Brit' Gal Sarah said...

Yes courage can be very hard to find sometimes and we keep putting things off we know we should do. I wish you well with your volunteering, it's a wonderful thing to give back.

pandoraskey said...

There are many faces and people etched into my memories as a child. Many I have no names to go with the faces, but they are there. Their kind words, smiles, glowing personalities. I wonder if these people have any idea how much of an influance they were. It really doesn't take much to make a lasting impression. I think KAY said it best.."try to allow yourself the ability to imagine, not what you can't do for people, but what you WILL and CAN do for them"...Chances are we have all made a difference in some strangers life and never knew it! You are making a positive change just by showing people you care :)
So I will thank you ahead of time in place of the ones I can't from my past :D

lolit said...

your blog gives us the inspirations and courage. it always gives us strength i believe in you, thanks you!

Sarah Lulu said...

I work with needy families and foster children every day ...and some days are more like the coal face than diamonds *smile* ...and I can become very depleted ....and it's worth it.
You have the right, very right attitude ..because if you don't put a bit of heart into it ..you shouldn't be doing it. I love my job with a passion and some days it makes me scream.

pranksygang said...

wow ! its very inspiring... you teach me lot!!.. your blog is very inspirational to younger generation....

biabaga said...

fantastic,.. verry beautiful !

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