During Pre-Service Training last year, we learned all about the state of HIV/AIDS in Botswana, how to live within a Batswana household, and tips for navigating life once we got to site. We had a few sessions with our medical officers about staying healthy. One of them covered mental health concerns. The guest speaker talked about the four parts of life: spiritual, emotional, physical and mental. She likened them each to legs of a chair. With one leg missing, the chair cannot properly stand.
I like that analogy. And for the first time in a while, I feel that my chair is strong. Although I have questions about my life and my work in Botswana, my mind feels strong. I feel like I finally have the ability to deal with anything that comes my way because my mind is clear and healthy. I am emotionally whole and physically (relatively) fit. Need to work out more...but who doesn't?
I am trying to figure out my spiritual place in this world. That will probably be a lifelong process. But I am reading The Bible, The Qur'an and the writings of Richard Dawkins. I hope to read more about Buddhism. I will read Gandhi's autobiography soon. I like to expose myself to as many sides of a debate as I can. But since I am not sure anything comes after this life, it is truly about the journey.
It almost feels like I never left Botswana, as if my time in DC was a distant memory. My friends and colleagues have welcomed me back wholeheartedly. I was able to spend time with a good friend of mine yesterday. She just had a baby. I learned a great deal about Botswana customs related to childbirth and I will write another post about that soon.
In adjusting back to being in Shoshong, one song really reminded me of my strength and helped me stand tall. It is called "So Small" by Carrie Underwood. Here are some of the lyrics I really like:
It's so easy to get lost inside
A Problem that seems so big at the time
It's like a river that's so wide
It swallows you whole
While you sit around thinking about what you can't change
And worrying about all the wrong things
Time's flying by, moving so fast
You better make it count 'cause you can't get it back
Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
And what you've been out there searching for forever
Is in your hands
And when you figure out love is all that matters after all
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small
I also like this song because it reminds me that things we think we couldn't live without, like our electronics and other possessions, are really unimportant. Human connections are what bring contentment. Steal everything from me. Take my computer, my camera, my music, my money. Drop me down into the jungle with nothing but the clothes on my back and the people that I love. I'll be just fine.
It is wonderful to be back. I haven't felt happier.