Sunday, November 25, 2012

Fear is not my motivator.

I am not sure when or if I will get to publish this anytime soon.

I am sitting in Haiti, in a Hotel room, waiting.
You do this a lot in Haiti, hurry up, to wait.
Haiti teaches me much about a lot of things.
That I have enough.
In fact, I have too much.
Unless life is on the line sometimes being in a rush is silly.
Friends are a gift.
When you have nothing you see the gift of friendship and family clearer, and cherish it more, this I believe.

I am wearing clothes I have washed in a sink with a bar of soap. They are mildly damp since air drying anything in Haiti takes eons, (even if you stuck your scrubbed unmentionables in a slotted wrung of a 1980's whirl pool air conditioner and they are waving like a flag of surrender in the cold air .)........still not so dry.

Two weeks later:
I am back in the states. I am showered, wearing clothes out of my overly stocked closet, preparing for a hike in the woods with my family to chop down our annual Christmas tree.

Haiti was such a gift.
It was so much hard work, surrounded by moments of complete joy, gratitude and even a little fear.
People ask all of the time if Haiti is safe. Yes, this being my 14th or 15th trip ( I have lost track) I have rarely ever felt unsafe. Things that happen are generally in the mind set of people “being in the wrong place at the wrong time”, you can chock that up to things that could go down in any major American city.
Much of my “Haiti fear” fear is in my noggin'.
Fear that is deep seated after my own personal experiences.
I think we all have irrational fears like this:
Fear your mother will show up unannounced and see what a wreck your house is normally in (you have to know my Mom)
Fear of answering the phone. (it could be bad news)
Fear of going to public places with a large group.
Fear of eating someone else's food, and getting sick.
Fear of judgment
Fear of being misunderstood
Fear of not wanting to be in a picture because you might look fat
Fear of speaking or reading in front of people
Fear of bugs like cock roaches or head lice
Fear of heights
Fear of new situations, and not knowing how it will go
Fear of someone walking in on me “going” #numbro uno, or WORSE #numbro doz, and not being able to flush
“Other” bathroom related fears...
Fear of throwing up in front of someone

So now that I have listed all of mine wack-a-do fears.....
I can be very honest that “Haiti” has been one.
My fear of how I would feel after all of the pain and death and terror I felt and witnessed after the Earth Quake.
My fear of memories, of bringing up old feelings of some of the things I coped with when I worked for the Orphanage and dealt with anxious parents and very sick children.

Sure there were some run in's this trip with dishonest Haitian Police officers; that made us all a little anxious/irritated, but over all, this trip taught me a lot about myself, and over coming my “stuff.”

There is something I have had to decide and apply as someone that has developed anxiety from past experiences, it is one simple process of asking my self questions.
Here it goes:

1. Am I afraid? - Yes
  1. Is it rational? -well duh, It's how I feel.
  2. Really? Are you in Danger? -wellllllllll, no , not really, but it is really,really uncomfortable.
  3. Are you going to allow that fear to keep you from doing what you know deep down is good and right for you?

    -HELL NO-

    That's my girl.

    Self-talk people, lots, and lots of self talk.

    The last 7 years since Haiti, adoption, and trauma have entered my life, I have learned so very much about me and myself. As I have entered my 30's I am reveling in what I am open to learning and listening to. What I am willing to except about myself? What weaknesses I am embracing, what beautiful things I see and support and am apart of with out the fear of “what people might think”.

    I love not giving people that power. It gives me more room to love and except and feel grateful when that fear is not ruling.

    I no longer fear being different, my family looking different, or even how our dynamic operates 1000 x opposite than many of my peers that live in my physical community.

    We live in extremes over here, and we are good with that.
    No one else has to “get it”, no one else has to understand why, and it is not my or my children's job to teach people.

    I am a member of the LDS church.
    Yup, I am a Mormon.
    I am extreme, I believe my faith with every conviction of my soul.
    I live my faith.
    I want to walk in Christs footsteps the way he would have me do it.
    I pray and listen, A LOT.
    I do what I am asked, when I am asked, even when it is hard.
    I am also liberal. Very Liberal.
    Some people confuse my liberalness with my faith. Don't.
    I have 2 tattoo's and plan on more.(I need those physical reminders, maybe more than most people, particularly when most of my tangible “things” like my wedding ring are disposable to my children and used as collateral to hurt me, I have to carry my reminders with me.)
    I also have a nose ring. It is fabulous, I have always wanted one, and was afraid that a Mormon Mommy from Idaho just doesn’t have piercings and tats....well guess what...
    This has nothing to do with my faith and everything to do with 100% accepting myself for who I am , and how I feel amazing. Never in my life have I felt more comfortable in my skin than I do now. I am so grateful that I have found this out about myself. Beyond grateful.

    What people think, or believe about me, or my religious experience is not about me, it is about them.

    My fear about what “they” think, is not my motivator.

    Sometimes my 8 children 6 with special needs keep us from a brick and mortar church experience, and I am good with that. I used to fear other members judgment for our lack of building attendance, I am over it.
    Even with the passive aggressive comments, I have gotten to a place of understanding, they don't understand, and even if I tried wasting breath on an explanation, they still would not understand. My closest friends try to. That is enough.

    Fear is not my motivator.

    Out of that “UN-fearlike-state, I have branched out and have learned and been blessed with seeking friends that blow the lid off being alone, and get me and my family on very real levels. I have sought virtually and met personally women that do what I do, the gift of their friendship. The way they walk with me and hold me up, also help me on this path of No Fear. I am a more complete person knowing, loving and being loved and understood by them.

    When I went to Haiti, I had this fear of this space where I experienced many after shocks nightly. There is nothing like waking up to the sound of loud crackling and the cement making waves beneath your helpless body. 

    I went back and gave it some love....Not so scarey now, eh?

    As I have begun this new job working with students, for Sionfonds in Haiti, we have learned much about the culture of discipline in the educational atmosphere in Haiti.
    One of the things we are trying to change in our schools with our teachers and how they relate to the students is switching our fear based discipline, to positive reinforcement. It is a VERY hard thing to teach, let alone reinforce in a culture where fear is the main motivator for everything. However when you fear someone, do you really respect them?
    Is fear an environment for love? Safety? Growth?

    I love learning, I love studying about learning, how people, children and even I learn, what teaches, what inspires?

    What I have learned about myself and as a student of other people is the more Acceptance, Curiosity, Joy, Playfulness, Color, Humor and Kindness is in any environment, Growth, Learning and Self Confidence is not too far off.

    Fear is not a motivator in these things.

    Just some random thoughts tonight as I snuggle in, my house smelling of fresh pine after a truly glorious day.
    Fear no longer has this hold on me, and for that I am grateful, I love that I have unchained this one thing that has bound me for so long.
    What are your fears? How are they working for you?
    What are they keeping you from doing?
    Sending out so much light and love to you.
    I want to know what you could accomplish if you kicked fear out of the equation for good?


  1. Oh Linds, I love you so so much. This was beautiful. I have many of the same fears as you and most women. Fear of imperfection, fear of my mom (oy....), fear of what others think about my special girl and her very public rages, and a BIG time fear of letting anyone in, especially Matt. But, I'm wooooorrrrrrking on it. Right there in the trenches with you. xoxo

  2. I love reading what you write. I was Mormon until I was 21, long story, if you want to hear it someday I will tell it. Lots of prayer led me lots of places. Currently my family attends a Baptist church, some have joined, I have not. I do teach high school Sunday School and last year wrote part of the VBS curriculum - all of the drama's, so I guess they don't have a problem with it. I live in a tiny town in Texas. I live ten miles outside of town, both physically and emotionally. Many of the people here have been here for generations and I am an outsider. I don't fit the profile of the moms here either. I have long hair that is not in a style, just a few layers here and there thanks to psoriasis. No piercings or tattoos also thanks to a combination of psoriasis and a failing immune system. I have children with physical disabilities. I have both adopted and bio kids. I confuse people because I have two kids who are exactly nine months apart, both with physical disabilities. I let one participate extensively in competitive dance, I let her fly off to Vegas to a dance convention with her teacher (whom I consider family) I and my husband take turns taking her to conventions and competitions. She participates fully in youth group and other things if they fit into her dance schedule. (her choice is to put dance near the top of her list of priorities) My older boys work and are involved in lots and lots of extra things. My other child is not allowed to do these things. He is in middle school but has a 7PM bedtime. He is not allowed to be home alone, I don't let him go anywhere without one of us. Sunday School he makes most of the time, but not always. I keep him close during church. He does not get to do very many evening activities and does not do sleep overs. (my other kids do, though not often at our home anymore) He usually behaves in public or at least seems to. During church he will smile sweetly at me and climb on my lap and hug me and whisper in my ear. This looks sweet to outsiders. He is an adorable child. Small for his age and in a wheelchair. He is very smart and very very verbal. I love him like crazy. Most people don't understand why he is treated differently than my other children. Why he cannot play video games on school nights, why he is not allowed unrestricted access to computers, why he does not have very many electronics, why he sometimes smells bad or why he comes to school without supplies, coats or lunches. Like you I have been blessed to find people who get it online. People who don't judge me and who understand that my hyper vigilance with this child is out of love. They don't care that I don't wear make up (again - thank you psoriasis) Because of my immune issues I pick and choose my public things. I don't go to all community things anymore. I avoid the big stores even though they have low prices. I don't travel much anymore. I choose special things. Some of the events with my daughter are worth getting sick for and my trip in March to see these women who get it is totally worth ending up sick for. I don't even care because when I come home I am flying high. People like you make my life awesome! You are younger than me but teaching me so much. L.F.

  3. Wonderful and challenging post, in the best possible way. Thank you, this is an amazing piece of writing and one I'll come back and re read if not glue it to the fridge!

  4. I LOVE YOU so stinking much! Mwaaah!!!

  5. Yeah! You posted! I love reading your blog. Wish we could get together again sometime, I'll bring cup cakes again, but I understand.