A year and a half ago I began to live my life from a place of fear and regret. A child in my care was placed back home- I knew it was the wrong choice, and I did what I could within the restrictions of my job to prevent it, as did my boss who is wonderful and listened to me rant and complain over and over again. The caseworker and the therapist were at odds (personally) and they both were more interested in their own egos then doing their jobs and this little girl suffered for it.
She had lived with me for a year and came to me socially stunted ,hissing, and biting people who upset her and unable to sit through class at school. When they took her she was getting good grades, had friends, and was one of the teachers favorite kids. I know intellectually that I did what I could, and if I had meditated, made lists, and prayed on it I might feel that way in my heart, instead I acted- or didn’t act- out of fear. I was afraid to lose my job- which supports my family (I have a husband and two kids) a valid fear as my thought was to go to a meeting and yell at everyone until they listened to me about what dumb asses they were being. My boss can only protect me from so much. I also thought about kidnapping her- but I lacked the funds and again I had my family to consider.
The point being since then I have vainly tried to protect myself. I have tried to not get close to any of the kids (I’m not very good at this one) and emotionally have hidden inside a shell. I just finished reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird, were she talks about how as writers we are more sensitive, more emotional, because we observe everything and bring it into us to use later in our writing. This helped me realize that my emotional nature isn’t wrong, and I’m not broken, and yes I really do use egg rolls to medicate- but a lot of authors use something. In her book Anne Lamott says that she becomes more open, more vulnerable, and this helps her deal with her emotions better then hiding from them and herself.
I envy this courage. I want to be fierce and proud and vulnerable, and open to life. This reminds me of my friend Ahu. I don’t remember what we were talking about or who asked her, but someone asked what she does when she argues with someone and hurtful things are said. And Ahu smiled (she’s so beautiful when she smiles) and said “I become more vulnerable, more open, I don’t hide my heart I show it and I become stronger and more powerful because of that openness.”
I have thought of these words many times, and admired Ahu’s passion and openness and love of life.
So now I am trying to find my way to that place of truth, acceptance, joy, and vulnerability. Day by day, moment by moment I do my best to slow down, think about what I’m doing a see if I could open my heart just a little bit more.
My beautiful friend Ahu http://www.ahusmith.com/Home.html