Tuesday, November 12, 2013

To Wrestle is a Good Thing

I need it. You need it. The person you work with needs it. The rambunctious kids in Bangladesh need it. Even the people who have the beauty of softness and peace in their eyes need it. We all just need time to wrestle.

A woven grass mat lay beneath my cris-crossed legs as the long-awaited sunlight lit the courtyard in the middle of the receiving center at Bangla Hope. It was late December and the fog had fallen upon this little country like a damp blanket, shielding us from the sun for almost two weeks. But as Friday afternoon came like a gift, so did the sun, and we sat in the courtyard on a woven mat just after nap-time.

Lisa and Kelsey had been visiting for Christmas and it was hard to tell who was more excited about their visit, the kids or me! The last full-day of their visit arrived and so here we sat on the woven mat in the grass.

I remember sitting down first and seeing the little boys come running towards me. All of sudden, I was on the ground as little bodies pushed the full force of their body weight right into my shoulders and stomach! At this point I was on the ground with three boys on top of me and two more on their way, giggling and making play growling sounds all the way. Alright, you want to wrestle?, I thought,  you asked for it!

We wrestled for a few more minutes till we were all out of breath. Then one of the cooks brought out a huge bag of rice balls for everyone to snack on and we feasted calmly on the mat in the grass enjoying the sweet treat.

It's been eight months since I landed in San Francisco in utter awe of the clear blue skies and clean carpet of the airport wearing a bandana and my shalwar kamis. Eight months of taking in America with new eyes and discovering the amount of internal struggle around me. The word "struggle" usually comes with a negative connotation, but I believe it doesn't have to. A struggle is a process, an action of wrestling to overcome. And may I even go as far to say that this is a good thing to do? To struggle? Am I crazy?

Hear me out, complacency is not a place we want to find ourselves too often. If we are just "okay" with how life is and happens around us then something is missing. When we find something that makes us excited or gets our stomachs churning then we know we are alive! This is where the wrestling comes in.

We have to have time to wrestle! With the good and the bad, because that's how you find out if it is a good or bad thing by wrestling, pushing it around in our minds, pinning it down and staring it straight in the face, and perhaps ending up on our backs, laughing our heart out at the joy we find.

So, this is what I have been doing a lot of lately. Wrestling with all the knowns and unknowns in my life until I come to a place of discovery, make a conscious choice to distance myself from the bad and moving forward to grasp the good with all I have and be thankful.

My Thankful list today:

The tree that is on fire with color in front of Chan Shun!
My little red road bike "Penny"
Random dinners with friends throughout the week
Long walks in the glowing light of Fall at dusk
Wise old ladies in the hospital who are still smiling