misdirected emotions

I am a great example of how to display an emotion completely separate from what I m actually feeling. I have written before that I can be an ostrich when it comes to emotions and feelings but I also have a knack for completely dwelling on something minor as a way to distract myself from what I’m really feeling.

Case in point: about 2 hours ago I said goodbye to my wonderful American friends. I just about held the tears back as the kids all got emotional and as they prayed for me and told me their favourite things about my visit. I felt so sad to be leaving that I wanted to tell Rachel to turn the car around and I would just stay forever!

(But of course I didn’t and I said goodbye at the bus stop with a huge knot in my tummy and a lump in my throat from trying so hard not to lose it)

So then I spent an hour on the bus trying not to cry, reading my Bible and praying and looking at pictures. By the time I got to the airport I still felt sad but I was thankful for my time with the Libbys.

Then I checked in and my bag was too heavy and I had to pay the excess fee and instead of being my usual practical self and rearranging items between my carry-ons to make my check-in lighter I just went ahead and paid the whole charge! Which left me kicking myself all through Security for not making a wise decision.

Of course, I got so frustrated with myself over it because I didn’t want to think about what I was missing with Rachel and the kids.

I really had to fight to let go of that frustration and not let it take away from the joyful time I’ve had. Seriously, I’ve just had 2 wonderful weeks with some of my favourite people and I’m going to dwell on an insignificant thing like paying a baggage charge?!

How could my heart and head be so ungrateful so suddenly. It honestly took a lot of prayer and thanking God for all blessings of the last two weeks to make me see that while yes, maybe I made a silly split second decision, but it was even sillier to let it spoil my heart.

In the end I was thanking God that he provided me with enough spending money in my purse that I could pay the charge in cash and still have enough for a Starbucks while I wait for my boarding time. He didn’t have to provide that, but He did, because He loves me.

One thing I am taking away from this experience is to always have a thankful heart even when you feel silly or frustrated with your situation, because there are too many blessings to count if you look for them.

The other thing I am taking away from this is to be more wware of what I am feeling and why. This has always been a thing for me, and I have to constantly examine myself: what am I feeling, why am I feeling that way? But now I also need to challenge myself to change my attitude if it is not right and focused on God.

Such deep thoughts whilst sat at Gate D11. I have another hour or so until my flight starts boarding so I think I will head around the concourse in search of that Starbucks!


Celebrating the paralympics

Tonight is the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympics.

I have to confess, I haven’t watched as much of these Games as I did of the Olympics – in part because of the different broadcaster. I only have channel 4 and e4 on my freeview, so when coverage switched to more4 I wasn’t able to keep up – but what I have watched has just been amazing.

I’ve been so inspired by these athletes – who are showing the world that they are athletes first and foremost, and their lives are not dictated by their disabilities. I’ve also been challenged about my own preconceptions – I would love to say that I am completely non-judgemental and not prejudiced at all, but watching the Paralympics has really convicted me that while I may not discriminate against disabled people in that I absolutely agree they are equal and have the same rights as non-disabled people, I have held the view that they are limited in some way.

This is probably a very common misconception, and it’s not borne out of a nasty or vindictive spirit – instead I think that the Paralympics has highlighted that we are a nation of very ignorant people.

Margaret Maughan, who participated in the very first Paralympic Games in 1960

Fortunately there have always been people who thought differently, and recognised the extraordinary talents of disabled people. (For more about the origins of the Paralympics watch this stunning drama, the Best of Men www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01m1jqd/The_Best_of_Men/ )

I am so thankful for the dramatic change in attitude, from society then and society now. Today’s children and young people are witnessing one of the greatest sporting events ever, which shows that while someone has a physical disability, there is nothing that can diminish their potential.

During my second year of University I spent 9 months working with L’Arche, a community for people with disabilities. They were mainly over fifty, and the majority had spent a large proportion of their lives in institutions. Why? Because society said that as disabled people, they were imperfect. It was widely believed that it was better for everyone if they were hidden away. This meant that an entire generation of disabled people were kept secret, shunned and denied the chance for meaningful relationships and to achieve their full potential.

Like I said, I’m thankful for the change in attitude, and for the incredible people who have brought it about. I really hope that the Paralympics will help further the change in our society, so that in the future people will find it hard to believe that there was ever a time when disabled people were treated differently, as lesser citizens.

Hooray for the Paralympians!


Note to self…

Never, ever, EVER read the blog of someone you used to know.

It will make you want to kill yourself.

I know that none of the things that she says about me are true. Even at my worst, I was never the person that she describes.

I know it’s only words.

Except it’s not.

Her words articulate her emotions…and she was always very eloquent, so her emotions are vividly described.

The fact that she perceives six years of relationship in such a way, has such a clear hatred of me, blames me for a lot of her problems… well it’s enough to reduce me to tears and make me really want to revisit my old ways.

I’m NOT going there. I won’t. She does not have the power to make me feel that way.

Except that she does. Still.

Right now all I can do is cling onto God.

He knows that I’m not who she says. He knows my heart.

Right now, He is all that matters.