"Just trust yourself, then you will know how to live." ~ Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (German Writer, Physicist, Biologist)
Let’s chat a little more about that momentum I was speaking about during my last post.....
Developing a relationship with yourself is assumedly one of the more challenging journey’s in human existence, as I believe this is often the relationship that is left neglected and starving in the corner. Learning to trust yourself after years of indifference...well, that's a little more difficult. Here's how I view this process:
Inside of each of us lives a small child that represents the truest form of our being. This inner child has a lot of power, as they are the keepers of our happiest and most terrifying moments and experiences. And, they never forget. If you love yourself in the healthiest of ways, pay attention to this little person inside, and nurture yourself above all others, it is my opinion that this little person generally remains content and docile. However, when you neglect that child, when you forget to love yourself and compromise all that you are and depend on others for primary nurturing, that inner child often will raise their voice to shout for attention. In essence, that little person doesn't trust that you will take care of him or her and, therefore, when you attempt to make change that is unfamiliar, he or she freaks out like a kid in Wal-Mart when the newest, shiniest plastic toy isn't purchased for them. The inner child is temperamental.
Unfortunately, my inner child has experienced the latter category for a very long time. It has been my tendency to silence her when she is screaming for attention, rather than nurturing her, me, us. Through my meetings with Jenny, this process has begun and it has been extremely difficult. When applied to my dreams of going to Africa, my inner child was doubtful at best. She consistently told me self-defeating messages that lead me to distrust myself and my abilities. She convinced me that, due to the neglect I had imposed on myself over the years, I did not possess the strength and fortitude to take care of myself under such strenuous circumstances as travelling and working in Africa. I mean, let's be honest, you really need to have things "under wraps" to take on an adventure such as this and, to me, that meant having my spiritual, emotional and physical health in tip-top shape.
If you have read any of my previous posts, you will know that I have been struggling with my spirituality since I was a child. I need to continue writing those posts, as my journey with that continues. I have made enough progress to now understand that I cannot continue to neglect this aspect of my life, as I am continuously searching. My emotional health - well, that's what Jenny was for. And, upon making all of the above discoveries, I was super happy to know that I had someone competent guiding me along the rough terrain in front of me. I had been neglecting my physical health for ages in terms of my eating and exercise habits and I was constantly feeling under the weather, fatigued, and experienced headaches and lethargy. Basically, I was a mess in all of the areas I felt needed significant attention. Out of them all, I felt the most secure in the progress I was making with Jenny, in looking after my emotional health; however, the other two were seriously lacking.
It takes a lot of energy, this self-discovery business. It’s worth it; don’t get me wrong, but exhausting. And expensive (in my case). Although this is getting a little ahead of ourselves, I will say that over time, the expenses associated with this journey – the therapy sessions, the visits to the Osteopath, the classes on meditation, the complete change in diet – have tallied quite the ongoing total. It’s worth it. Every single day, it’s worth it. And, over time, you just get used to being broke. To say that I have done all of this, all with the goal of getting to Africa, is accurate and astounding. To say that it is out of character for me to engage myself on this level over an extended period of time is a gross understatement. But, I have. And I plan on continuing to do so for a lifetime – or at least until I get to Africa. My inner child is quieter these days; although she is not yet still (hence the meditation classes).
It’s a work in progress.As mentioned in my last post, 7 months ago, I made the decision that I was going to Africa. That switch-flipping I was talking about....it was what lead to all of the movement described above. As my head became clearer, I started investigating what would be involved with getting on with MSF. Although I had read a lot about the organization, I had not actually explored the practical aspects of working with them. As I reviewed their extensive criteria and application process, I was surprised by how many aspects I fulfilled with my education and experience. I would qualify for a para-medical staff position as a social worker, particularly given my experience working with kids who have suffered trauma. I was surprised to find out that MSF offered a monthly salary and, although it isn’t a large amount, it is far larger than I had imagined. As a Canadian, working for MSF would pay me $1700/month and all of my expenses (from the time I left my home until the time I returned) would be covered. That would allow me to keep up with my student loan payments while away, which was my main concern. The contracts ranged from 9-12 months for field staff, with mandatory breaks and holidays along the way. I imagine MSF doesn’t want you poking your eyes out with a sharp stick after working for months at a time in the most demanding and taxing circumstances out there. Breaks are good. The website (provided in a previous post) was extremely comprehensive and user-friendly; however, I did not feel that I could get all of the necessary information that I needed from it. Karma kicked in and, next thing I knew, a free 90 minute webinar was being offered in a month’s time that I could easily register for. And I did. And that’s when it all really began.