March 17, 2012
The Virtue of Flexibility...and more
Life here requires a lot of flexibility! I feel like I have been doing pretty well with this, especially being the Type A person that I am. Some of my friends would be proud to hear that I haven't touched a post-it-note since I arrived and that my planner is collecting dust in the desk drawer. But over the last couple days I have been thinking more about how I have been responding to disappointments. Usually I acknowledge that I am disappointed, accept that this is just the way life is here and move on. Yet, I started to question whether or not this was a healthy way to cope. Coming from a Social Work background, I know how important it is to effectively deal with our feelings and disappointments and what can happen when we don't.
And then we read these lines last night from Henri Nouwen. I felt like it was specially written for me, although I know I still have a lot of personal work to do in this area:
Trees look strong compared with the wild reeds in the field. But when the storm comes the trees are uprooted, whereas the wild reeds, while moved back and forth by the wind, remain rooted and stand up again after the storm has calmed down.
Flexibility is a great virtue. When we cling to our own positions and are not willing to let our hearts be moved back and forth a little by the ideas or actions of others, we may easily be broken. Being like wild reeds does not mean being wishy washy. It means moving a little with the winds of the time while remaining solidly anchored in the ground. A humorless, intense, opinionated rigidity, about current issues might cause them to break our spirits and make us bitter people. Let's be flexible while being deeply rooted.
And a few unrelated notes:
*We are in Esteli for a few more days. We have been learning a lot of Spanish (but there is always so much more), working long days (12 to 14ish hours), enjoying the cooler climates and have been totally spoiled by our sweet Nicaraguan family.
*Happy Saint Patrick's Day! It is one of Kevin's favorite holidays being the Notre Dame fan that he is. I have a little surprise of green items that I picked up from the grocery store waiting for him.
*We are super excited for a couple upcoming visits! We will definitely post pictures.
*We are trying to decide if it is a smart decision to get a cat. Our neighbors cat just had five babies and they are adorable. We got to hold them when they were one day old and still had their umbilical cords attached! They are great for killing spiders and rats, but we aren't sure if we are ready for the commitment. And our Baby Cacao is back at home with Grandma and Grandpa. I wonder what he would think?