It’s not fancy. It’s not even perfect. But it is realistic. And it applies to everyone!
In the past week I have shared my excitement about having an opportunity to go to Jordan with Rehana Webster using the trauma buster technique with refugees. As the week unfolded I found myself noticing the very content of my book playing out as fears and limitations were expressed by others. Yes, there were a few people equally excited for me but they were the minority.
At weeks end both the supportive and the fear-based responses have helped me consolidate my commitment to going. The interesting observations I have made is that those who were excited for me wanted to know the details of the adventure. It was fun to share. Those who questioned my sanity and listed off the dangers and all I can do right here in Australia, helped me link who I am with my motivations, intentions and needs in this situation.
In explaining why I wanted to do this I was reunited with my 15-year-old-self who is the voice in my head setting the standards of what I am to achieve with my life and the yearning for fulfilment sitting in my heart. The more fears expressed the more I heard her calling for me to do what I have dreamed to do.
The reality is I have always wanted to do something specific and all attempts have been thwarted or abandoned up to this stage of my life. My 15-year-old-self wanted to join Greenpeace and save the whales and she wanted to be the first woman Prime Minister of Australia. I’m not the most coordinated, physically strong person you’ll ever meet so hurling me on to whaling ships wasn’t going to be a great success. I gave that one up. I studied politics at university and soon realised that my moral compass was never going to cope with the hurly burly games of politics. I gave that one up too.
But what I did discover is that I could help people and I could teach. I began investigating my options and found some. Then I got sick and being in the middle of nowhere with few resources was unwise. There went my 20’s and 30’s but never my desire.
Even when I started studying naturopathy my thoughts were ‘I wonder if this will lead me to being able to help people by using the relevant natural remedies of their countries while I’m there.’
Only last night a lady told me that ‘we all have a yearning to do something but unless I fix that within myself it will still be there when I get back.’ This is the thing, maybe that’s true. I may go there and still feel I haven’t met that yearning. But I might go there and feel I have done that something my 15-year-old-self wanted me to do. I might love it and decide to do more work like this. I might get there and be so confronted by the tragedy that I realise I’m not cut out for this kind of work. I will return knowing I am glad I learnt this about myself. There are so many ‘might’s’ possible in this scenario and I’m okay with that!
This is the other thing, I’m a human being who has experienced many things in my life and I have unmet needs, or at least one main one left that I am very aware of. Going to Jordan to work with refugees is unlikely to meet that need, as best as I can imagine right now, allowing that I haven’t been and I don’t know what will happen and the impact it will have on me.
I’m allowed to have an unmet need and still go and do something for others. We all are. In fact, if we all waited until we had every need met 100% nothing would happen in this world.
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs we are all striving for self-actualisation – the full expression of all we are and can be. But true self-actualisers then set a new goal and stretch themselves even further thus never staying in that state forever. For me that is what life is all about – reaching a stage in my development and then venturing on to take those skills to a new level, and so it goes, on and on. And I’m okay with that too.
What dream still sits within you waiting to be expressed?