“As I walked out the door toward that gate that would lead me to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind,  I’d still be in that prison.”  NELSON MANDELA

Arthur Golden writes, “We lead our lives like water flowing down a hill, going more or less in one direction until we splash intol something that forces us to find a new course.” This is so true. I’ve learned from experience that life has to have problems, agitation, and chaos if we want to grow and go somewhere in life, living our potential. Instead of running away from them I choose to embrace them, learn from them. It turned out that all those problems changed my perspective. As I forgave all the critics, haters, the judges and jury, unbeknownst to me, the much needed attitude of gratitude was being developed.  I suppose the part of the brain that do not speak Palauan or English or any language, understood my emotions and feelings and my mind was being renewed. The more we learn the more we grow and mature. And I learn from others like Corrie Ten Boom and Nelson Mandela, just to name two of the most amazing people — beacons of light that led me to freedom (of the mind).

I was a late bloomer – whatever that means.  I was late in growing up.  According to Dr James Wilder, :& et al, book, LIVING FROM THE HEART, Shepherds House, I was about 14 years old emotionally at age 41.  I had a lot a catching up to do. A lot of hard work.  You know when you realize you’re late in the game you do everything you can to reach your goal. I also found that in Christ, I am free to choose and learn without fear of condemnation. I didn’t have to perform to survive. I only had to live and thrive because of man called Jesus who helped me find me – my true self, my inner child.

When I was a child we had a vegetable garden. My mother planted those seeds in the ground.  I was so fascinated to see those seeds sprout. Delicate and beautifuĺ.  As they grew my morning chore before school was to walk in the garden and look for snails and insects eating the plant, pick them up and dump them into a pail of water at the edge of the garden.  They die and rot in the water. They stunk horribly like all dead things. That dead water was used to feed the plants as fertilizers.  My mother did the cultivation. Breaking the soil around the plants and mix with the fertilizers. After a few weeks I saw the vegetables flourishing  beautifuĺy green with some bearing fruits. Before you know it, it’s time to harvest. Nnapa, egg plants, okra, cucumbers, squash, and green onions.

The hardest thing I had to do  was to acknowledge my brokenness.  I had to fight against shame and fear of rejections and condemnation. You cannot fix what you can’t acknowledge as broken. I knew I was one broken girl.  I also knew that if I wanted to grow and mature, something had to die. I’m still amazed at how stinking ugly and dead things help us grow.

I believe we all have a seed of potential that was planted in us when we were conceived. It’s our responsibility to find that seed and develop and grow into who we were meant to be. Age doesn’t matter. There is no deadline except death.

Those agitations, problems and chaos came to destroy what kept me from growing – my fear and shame had to die.  My need for approval and applause– my aim to please, to be accepted and loved– my false self that tried so hard to be perfect had to die if I want to thrive and live as fully human and fully alive.

LORD GOD what we know not  teach us. What we have not, give us. What we are not, make us for your Son’s sake. Boluaisei.

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