Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Ok, I'll go to Africa

I think we all have those moments when we wish we could just see into future and know exactly what we are supposed to do and when we are supposed to do it. Although it would be helpful at times, our lives would not be as spontaneous or exciting as they can and should be.
Like... at the age of twenty-two deciding…. surprise I'm going to Africa for a month!
 It doesn't feel real yet, but in three short weeks I will be getting on a plane and flying to Uganda. I don't know what to expect really.
All I know is that my new best friends name is going to be dirt, mosquitos are going to be in heaven when I get off the plane, I will definitely stand out in more ways then one, and I am going to be that obnoxious girl with the camera.
I don't know what it is about traveling, but it has opened my eyes to a whole new world that I did not know existed. Not only am I able to see and experiences other cultures but I am able to truly find myself. Are there other ways to do some soul searching, of course. But I have found the quickest (and most expensive) way for me personally is by traveling.
My heart breaks when I see:
The families in China who are limited on the number of children they are allowed to have.
Young families in the Philippines living in a single cement box as their home
Mothers in Mexico who plead to trade anything so they have enough money to feed their children that night
Holocaust Memorials in Germany where people were torn from their families and treated worse then animals
I can't fathom what I am about to see in Uganda, but this time I plan on making a difference. Along with service oriented projects based on the needs of the town, I will be able to teach classes. Classes on what I love most, family. I am going to teach those wonderful people about the importance of family. Their unique, and vital roles in the family and how to encompass all of them within the family unit. I will teach them ways to rely and support each other no matter what the circumstance.
The family is being attacked from every angle and if I can help others to understand its importance then I feel like I am making some sort of a difference.
It may seem kind of strange, but for me it works. I think there is an internal drive in each of us. There is a longing to help or make a difference. It may take some time to find but it's there I promise.
So try to find it, what drives you?
Where ever you have to go, even if it's Africa.

 I hope we can each find a way to be….

Positively Contagious 

Want more details on the organization I will be going with click here

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The fear of perfection

I have a guilty pleasure of watching little kids movies. This plus the fact I live next to my (almost) nieces/nephews means I have seen the movie Frozen two times over the time span of one month. I have had a few thoughts on my mind lately and funny thing is the song "Let it go"from the movie helped me combine a lot of what I have been thinking.

Besides my closest friends, nobody really knew what was happening with my family behind closed doors during my high school years. I didn't want people to see how hurt I was internally. I didn't want them to see how badly I wanted to just give up. I wanted to just take my mom and brothers and run away, far away. I didn't want them to "see me cry" and did my very best to hide any emotion and "not to feel" the pain of the reality we were living. I tried to "be perfect" in any way that I could.
But eventually it was time to open up that door and not "worry about what other people would say". Everyone has their challenges, and this was mine, and I could no longer pretend.
As I went away to college I was no longer living with the fears of control, manipulation, and hatred. I now had internal fears and a rather long list of them.
But here is a shortened version:

You will never be…
pretty enough
smart enough
strong enough
a good daughter
a good friend
a good sibling
able to move forward
simply enough
and ultimately worthy of being loved.

Over years I have studied, both spiritually and secularly, traveled, developed lasting relationships, and with lots of re-programing I know that I am enough. I "slammed that once opened door" and don't plan on opening it to anyone who makes me feel that way... ever again.
 I now have a deeper appreciation for things that I could have possibly taken for granted. I have a stronger desire to have a successful marriage. I want to defend and protect the sacredness of the family. I want to help other people realize their potential during their challenging times. I want to be a positive influence to those I come in contact with. I want to live a happy life. I want to be happy and find joy in the little things in life.
  I look at my life now see that as I "let go" of those things that "once controlled me" I was able to "rise above". I did not let my experiences define me. I was able to learn and grow from them and am stronger now then I ever have been.
"Here I stand, the past is in the past" and the only direction I plan on going is forward.

Who would have thought Disney movies would help me put my thoughts into words.
But regardless I hope in doing so I can be…

Positively Contagious