US Flag Artist: Nixxphotography FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I was in the role of “Toastmaster” at one of our recent meetings where I led a short meditation for the group. Afterwards, a young woman asked me about my ‘calm.’ How did I get there?” she wanted to know. I responded by saying that I have, for years, been facing my fears.
The act of facing, working through and dismantling my fears creates a more available, approachable Linda. I see myself more clearly, knowing more about myself, and feeling more confident because I’ve confronted and accepted deeper parts of my psyche/being. There is less that is unknown by me, about me, so that I am less likely to be on edge. This is readable on energetic and interactional levels, and this is what this young woman witnessed.
Today is Memorial Day in the United States (Other countries celebrate on different days.) and my thoughts go to my father who served in World War II. He volunteered to be a Marine. Why? Because their boot camp was located near to his brother’s training facility. (Dad and my Uncle A loved each other like twins.)
Dad left his parents, and a love-filled home to travel to a distant front where he saw a lot of bloodshed. My mother said he was never the same once he returned. He’d wake up in the night, speaking while in a dream-state, of horrors he’d witnessed.
Some years ago, I asked my brother what he thought we were doing while Dad was walking this dangerous path. “We were watching,” he said. Of course, I thought, we were guiding Dad through mine fields and foxholes, keeping an eye, urging our soon-to-be-father to get through this challenge so that he and our mother would have the four of us (three daughters, one son).
In Dad’s later years, he forgot what he told me in my childhood: that he was afraid; he didn’t want to die; he wanted to return home to my mother (They were married in New York and travelled to California to be ready for his war-time departure. He couldn’t tell my mother about this timing. One night, he didn’t return! He had left for the front…)
Dad was twenty-three…the younger warriors (18-21 or so, years of age), “who had no fear” he said, got killed – under my father’s observing eye. Dad buried these experiences, as men in combat did in this era. There was no diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and counseling…to give voice to his experiences…to heal them…we could say that Dad faced his fears at the time by being bold and getting through the ordeal that karma and world events placed in his path. He dealt with his fears and the traumatic aftermath by expressing his creativity in baking, cooking, drawing, painting, dancing, playing with us, and helping my mother in the home…
There are men and women – in many homelands – who have served their country…facing fears in a way I haven’t had to endure. Their efforts are the reason we have had this long weekend…remembering is a way to appreciate their sacrifices…
Speak to you on June 8th…