Monday, November 5, 2012

Giving Back is Like Karate Chopping Anxiety and Shame In the Balls

My 2 Year Old is More Honest Than Me
Maybe it's because my daughter is highly intuitive and knows that her world is about to be rocked upside down in January, but she is going through a giant Mommy stage.  Don't get me wrong, this does not bother me.  Having your daughter plead for more snuggle time is just precious and beautiful and makes my heart melt into 3,000 pieces.  But see I don't think I am *that* different from her.  You know those days where you just need to talk to your mom, your best friend, husband, and you intentionally try to find out ways to see them so you can just connect.  That's what I think Shyla is going through.  It is sweet.  It is vulnerable and so, so, so honest.  It makes me want to be more like my daughter.  It makes me want to be able to tell my favorite people in my life that I really don't care about dropping off said piece of borrowed clothing I have had forever,  I just miss you.  I am getting so much better at that.  Shyla is better at it then I am.  I think I should just take a cue from her in this lesson book.  Tonight, as I was kissing her good night she said "Mommy, God    Wuvs and then proceeded to fist bump me."

Shame is a Universal Language
Today, I had some very honest, beautiful moments with clients who live in very different cultures.  They told their stories.  Stories that I could NEVER dream to even relate to. I hope I never do.  It is funny how real people are when they are at their weakest and most vulnerable.  I don't care if you speak English or Somalian, anxiety and pain are a universal human phenomenon. The anxiety that exists in a woman that is a 25 year old immigrant and mother of 4 children living in this culture and from a different country is the same anxiety  as a teenage mother living in the suburbs. The topics are different, but the issues are the same  Shame doesn't really care what language you speak.  But, I have come to learn that it does care about what kind of ninja moves you use to combat it. :)

The Ninja Moves
It's Thanksgiving.  I see facebook statuses of people's gratitude list.  I love that people take the time to explore those feelings of gratitude.  But I also love when people take those feelings of gratitude and give back to the community they live in.  Luke is such an action oriented human being.  He continually states that a person's heart can only be judged by their actions.  This is his life motto.  God love him for it.  So, this year we are collecting food items for Kingdom House here in St. Louis for the Gathering United Methodist Church as family.  We went to Aldi's yesterday and filled our first shopping bag up with canned food items.  Shyla and I are going to tomorrow to fill up the second  bag for next week. This is how we are hoping to karate chop our way through some of the chronic anxiety that exists in the areas of this city ..just by giving food.  That is just is.

Putting It All Together
In connecting all my thoughts together from this blog, I have to wonder how we could ease the universal reality of shame and anxiety of people as a whole if we were just a little bit more vulnerable and honest with our connections by giving back?  What does giving back mean anyway???  By vulnerability I mean living out of solitude and in community with people that only know anxiety and shame as a daily reality.  I wonder if we could give back by just calling up that friend we haven't talked to in years and say "I miss you."  Vulnerability is an honest gift no matter what it is wrapped in.  This year for our family it is about intentional giving back with the food pantry and relational honesty.  A lesson from my daugher:  It's ok to say you miss someone that you just saw 6 hours earlier.  That's not weird.  That's community, love, and giving back with some awesome connecting ninja moves. I guess it's just being human.

In case you need to get into the mood, I give you Sarah Mclachlan's awesome video:

World On Fire

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