As a young girl I needed and wanted the approval of those around me. Growing up, I had dreams that I didn’t dare pursue because I was worried about the “what will they say?” Or because I didn’t think people would like or accept me. And worst of all, I was scared of failure. I was insecure and my fears and self doubts didn’t disipate as I became an adult. It took years of hard work and commitment to chip away at my insecurities and low self-esteem. Once I made the decision to dream big and live fearlessly, amazing things started to happen.
I blogged about my volunteer trip with the migrant relief effort at the US/Mexican border in December 2018 on a couple of previous posts. The story was published in the Palm Beach Post on Sunday, January 27, 2019. I had no idea the story was going to be published on the front page of the newspaper. It was an incredible honor!
Monday morning I arrived at the office and there was a copy of the paper on my desk with a beautiful note of encouragement from one of my colleagues. People I didn’t know at the company sent e-mails, came by my desk or stopped to tell me how the story had touched them.
Few friends and family called to congratulate me on the story, some never asked about the trip to Tijuana. I sent the link to the story via e-mail or text to a few friends, and some didn’t reply, while others answer in a way that left me trying to make sense of their response. Strangers have shown more interest in knowing more about my volunteer work. I didn’t need praise or recognition, but wanted to share what is important to me with friends and family.
A Vote of Confidence
The journalist who wrote the story, Wayne Washington, forwarded an e-mail from Sister Raeleen, a nun from Chicago; Sister Raeleen indicated that she worked with a local gentleman who was impressed by the tory in the Post; and they wanted to meet with me. Patrick and I accepted their dinner invitation.
Michael and Sister Raeleen had several other guests join us on our first meeting. I agree to return in a few weeks to share the story with others. The cocktail reception took place on Friday, February 15; in attendance were some of Mr. Koldyke’s friends and business associates. It was a wonderful opportunity to share my experience at the border.
Fear and then terror gripped me in the days leading up to the cocktail reception. Going over my notes again and again, worried that I would panic and not be able to remember a word. So much trust had been placed in me, I didn’t want to make a fool of myself and embarrass my host. Taking time to sit and think helped me gain my confidence. I vowed to do my best.
A New Perspective
The trip to Tijuana helped to clarify my purpose and desire to help others. I met, saw and heard of so many emotionally strong men, women and children at the border. People who deserve kindness and compassion. So much suffering and pain has not robbed them of their hope and strength to continue to fight for a better life. I was, and continue to feel inspired by all of the people I met and volunteered with.
Self Acceptance and Love
Over the years I have learned that self love and acceptance has to come from within. I am determined to reach for my dreams no matter the obstacles and challenges, as the fear of failure cannot stop me. Setting goals and determined to live each day with joy and a sense of direction.
It’s time that we all see that we are worthy, limitless, with no boundaries but those that we set for ourselves. I am ready to take on new challenges, to continue to show up and be of service to others. Having the support of friends and family makes life easier; however, not having it no longer stops me from pursuing my goals and dreams.
Never Lose Hope
Rosa, one of the ladies I met in Tijuana, told me that all her life she had felt that she was worthless. All she had ever known was mental and physical pain caused by the abuse of others. Few people had shown her love or had helped her without having an ulterior motive. It wasn’t until she met some of the volunteers while she was waiting for her asylum interview at the border, that she came face to face with kindness, compassion and acceptance.
Yet, this woman had left her home in Honduras, and had traveled for seven weeks on foot, along with her partner and son, in search of a better life. Dreaming of a life where she can raise her son to reach for his dreams. I told her that she is worthy and will have in life whatever she allows herself to have. This is true for all of us.
Letting Go of Limiting Thoughts
Making the decision to follow my instinct to travel to Tijuana, even though there was so much opposition to it, set off a series of amazing events that I could not have ever imagined or planned. When I decided to stop doubting myself and instead embrace my dreams something powerful happened.
It is never too late to believe in yourself, decide on what you want and go for it. All of us have a choice. We can choose to live a life that is meaningful and full of adventure or one of regrets. I choose to live a life I can be proud of, even if I fall, because I know I will pick myself up again and again.
Do you live a fearless life? Share your experience in the comments section below.
Thank you for reading and your support!