Returning

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Chalet on safari

Early on in my service in Malawi, I experienced some deep, dark moments of doubt and wondered whether I had made a dreadful mistake. Emotional ups and downs seem to be part of this experience. They fortunately are balanced with moments of joy and satisfaction that appear in an instant, completely unexpectedly.

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Christmas table decos; poppers, streamers and hats

What I wonder is, how can one go from being in a fetal position, depressed, sobbing, and hurting to the core, to absolute elation 24 hours later. Is this a normal part of the human experience? Peace Corps? Me? Or all of the above?

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As a sober woman, I walk the fine edge of balance 24 hours a day. Achieving balance and emotional sobriety has taken years of practice, self-evaluation, asking for help, and vigilance. It is put to the test almost daily in a position like I have here in Malawi. Additionally, several interpersonal relationships have called into question my faith in myself, my discipline, values, and courage.

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Nasturtiums in my garden

Returning from a wonderful vacation in the US to another wonderful vacation in Africa was challenging and required tremendous patience and honesty. I arrived in Mzuzu to a living situation that was uncertain and potentially incredibly painful. Spending 24/7 with my 24 year old daughter was beautiful but also difficult as she challenged me on several fronts, about my behavior, choices and actions.

I finally arrived home Sunday to an empty house after a month of constant companionship with family and friends. Having made some changes in relationships, I was sad, depressed, scared, and hurting deeply. My faith in God is unwavering, but sometimes I wonder if I am heard, and what exactly is the hold-up on the relief?

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A little bit of heaven, my back yard

Later Monday morning, I received some news that has drastically altered my life for the better. I will have my own house for the next 6 months, through the end of my service here. I found myself dancing, singing, and thanking God for mercy and an amazing gift this week.

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New kitty hiding behind basil

When I contrast that to my day before, I wonder….by taking action on one thing, does that trigger another reaction, and so on. I believe that by taking a stand for myself, the universe, God, Spirit, whatever, follows by pouring into my life that which we deserve and need.

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Zambia sunset

In the last 72 hours I have been on my knees, sobbing hysterically, dancing with joy, scared to death, indecisive about choices I am facing. The tears come out of no where, all times of day and night. I am in that wilderness of indecision, grief, and anticipation. It is uncomfortable and hurts.

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Puppy love

During my meditation today, I played Returning, Jennifer Berezan’s beautiful chant. Once again, sobbing, I began to realize how far I have strayed from “home”; that my tears, my fears, the tumult in my gut, results from taking a stand for myself and being brought back to my center, with a subtle grace and a loving presence that I see glimmers of now and then. Most of the time it just hurts.

Through choices I have made, I have strayed from my core values, commitments, integrity, and standards. This is a slippery slope for a recovering person, but with my faith in God and support from my friends and family, I think I am returning home, to myself.

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Christmas Day dinner

Today I am grateful  to be crawling back to center, to be alone in my own house, to have friends and family I can count on, and an amazing job in a country that is beautiful, joyful, and mysterious. I look forward to the walk out of the wilderness into the light, with full anticipation that all will be well…

 

 

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One thought on “Returning

  1. Thank you for your courage and honesty. It is a privledge to share your journey.
    How wonderful to have your own house. May the rest of this adventure bring satisfaction and peace.
    Your friend,
    Robin

    Like

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