July 17, 2017: I jumped on WordPress just now (it’s nap time for the kids) to write a blog and voila I discovered a blog that never went public written one year ago. Crazy! So, I guess this is my post. A little dated but still a good one. And as always, it’s perfect timing and a perfect reminder. Now on with the blog from July 17, 2016…
On June 30th our family (my husband, 2.5 yo, 15-month-old, and myself) landed in the Kingdom of Bahrain to live here for a few years. We never know exactly how long, it’s a military thing. So you’d think there would have been many times in the months prior to this move where fear would have risen. From the time we got the news to the actual move, fear was never one of the emotions I felt or experienced. Yes, a litany of other emotions I experienced but fear was not one of them.
However, when we started looking for a house I noticed with every single hour that passed that I wasn’t being shown the “perfect place” by our real estate agent my liver was getting more and more bound up…Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) term for frustrated or angry. I would find myself going through the mental pep-talks, “Breathe Haunani. Let it go. It’s going to be alright.” But was it?! Would it?!
Luckily my yoga practice has continued to be relatively strong since arriving and when I sat to meditate on these feelings I realized the underlying emotion I was experiencing was not anger or frustration but fear. In my experience, most non-loving feelings boil down to fear. Try it, take a look at your emotions; easier said than done, but it becomes easier with guidance and lots and lots of practice…i.e. yoga. When I sat with my fear, I realized what I was afraid of was not being able to live near the beautiful seas of Bahrain. It wasn’t death I was afraid of or being attacked, it was afraid of my own desires not being fulfilled. How silly and selfish is that? Haha. I can see how ridiculous this is now, but at the time I was losing my appetite over it and becoming Mrs. Bitch Queen to my kids. Not fair to them…or anyone.
I try not to compare my emotions and suffering. I try to just see them as they are. Judgment arises, of course, but a healthy form that allows me to see the big picture laugh at myself and then find it easier to let go. So that’s what I did. My kids were napping when I got to sit in this self-reflection and they were still napping so I decided to dig a little deeper. What, really, is fear? I’ve asked myself this question for years. It’s a goodie. Something I enjoy contemplating.
As I sat there contemplating ‘what is fear?’, I really felt in the core of my being that fear is not trusting God, the Universe, or whatever you call your higher source. In Pantanjali’s Yoga Sutra, the eight path/branches of yoga is a guide toward living liberated from the illusions of the mind, discovering one’s true nature, and ultimately being liberated from our own suffering. One of the eight branches is called Yama, or personal observances. Within the Yamas, Ishvara pranidhana or devotion to Ishvara (God), is one of these self-practices and observances. When I was sitting and contemplating ‘what is fear?’ it became clear that one act of devotion is to trust. To trust myself in acting with discernment and decision making with my husband. To trust that our decision would not be the “wrong” one. To trust that our decision would be the “best one given the information we were given.” I do believe that we are all connected to all things, we are a part of nature, we are divine creatures that walk and talk with will and consciousness, then not trusting God, or the Creator is very scary. Simply not trusting God would mean not trusting all of my being. THAT is scary.
The good thing is, it’s been easier to manage this whole house hunting process in Bahrain now that I have that revealed. God’s got my back. I’m doing my due diligence, acting and choosing with discernment. If it’s meant to be then great but most likely where we end up will be better than anything I could have imagined or dreamed up for my family. This I have experienced time and time again. I limit my reality with my own desires or expectations. If I can trust God, the life I will get to live and experience will be brighter and more amazing than my little brain can hope to control.
So while I may not have totally conquered fear in all its forms, like my title would suggest, it does feel good to know that Bahrain is already turning into another great teacher. I am not surprised. I look forward to keeping my fears in check and coming back to “trust God” or “trust the process” as our time in Bahrain unfolds.