If my life was not such an incredible adventure, so intense, filled with passion, and even unpredictable at times, I could not be so madly in love with it.
To be in the eye of the storm. To sit quietly as chaos swirls around you. To witness the fear rise within, slowly paralyzing your breath and your ability to think straight. To be the observer as you feel the fear move down your spine, spreading like wild fires through your veins, slowly turning your body into a solid block, hard, cold, numb, robbing you of life’s nurturing flow.
Yet somewhere deep from within you hear whispers of truth. To know the face of life and see the face of death just there on the edge; so close and just out of reach. To observe how your body responds and engages with fear intimately, while at the same time your heart opens to love in a way you never knew was possible. And in a voiceless yell to the universe, you hear yourself say, “I have no control… I surrender ”.
Recently I shared a magnificent trip to Hong Kong and Bali with my father and my youngest daughter. This trip deepened my self-awareness, provided another level of awakening for my soul and I truly fell in love with Bali. I can share so many magical stories that represent the incredible heartfelt nature of the people. The land rich with diversity: the mountains, lakes, oceans, rainforest, and rice fields. My soul sang in each moment and each experience. However, coming home from this trip took all the personal development, spiritual learning’s, and soul searching I have done over the years and presented me with my biggest personal, emotional and spiritual challenge yet.
This lesson more than three weeks later is still revealing itself to me. And as I write this, I am aware there is a part of me that fears putting this out there; as I can hear my own self -judgment for a choice I made. But here it is…
I made the decision to take my fourteen-year-old daughter to Asia and Indonesia for a two and a half week vacation. This beautiful soul has a life threatening peanut allergy. Even to me it seemed a bit of a risky choice, but yet we were doing it, as I thought I had everything under control. We planned for over a year, dotted every “I” and crossed every “T”. I had convinced myself that I had always done a good job at identifying, managing and mitigating the risks. And that this kids deserved to really live, experience all that life has to offer, and to not be restricted… what could possibly go wrong?? So off we went.
What could go wrong is exactly what went wrong. Java’s Mount Raung, a neighbour of Bali, decided to give off another volcanic blast. This shut the Bali airport down for six days. This was not the problem. The problem was this now resulted in a significant change to our flight itinerary; including air carriers.
Twenty minutes into our first of our newly scheduled three flights home, the stewardess started down the aisle handing out the inflight snack. My daughter looked at me wide eyes and before words came from her mouth I knew the terror in her eyes meant it was peanuts. My mind raced…the storm within hit fast and hard (even as I write this I can feel the terror stir within and the flood of tears start again down my face). For those first moments my mind raced fast and my body went numb. My mind instantly flashed imagines before my eyes, of passengers holding semi automatic guns pointed at my daughter’s head, to ensure I understood just how serious this situation was.
Seven hours to go and she was now surrounded with ticking time bombs all around her. You see for those with a life threatening peanut allergy ingestion of any kind (even trace amounts from objects others have touched) could result in death. And the effects of the altitude could speed that process up fast and furious. High in the clouds, no doctor, no hospital, not even a landing strip near by. And me, her mother, with nothing but good intentions, who has worked so hard to always keep her safe…was the one who put her in this “hot” seat.
As the stress storm hit me, slammed me, knocking me off center, I became aware of how I had little if any control over this situation. The fear had it’s grip on me and my racing mind was sending the poison of fear raging through my entire body. Then all of a sudden Samantha and I locked eyes with silent tears streaming down both of our faces. She whispers “mom I am so sorry I am causing you so much worry. I love you”. In a whisper voice she continued to tell me that although terrified on this flight, she was so grateful for the trip. She explained she now realized how much I do to keep her safe while trying to give her the chance to really embrace and experience life fully. She also understood this really was a once in a life time trip as Asia/Indonesia just isn’t a safe place for her to travel; making this experience all the more special. Then there it was, the eye of the storm. Chaos surrounding me, but yet it was as if I was somehow standing outside of it all. I became aware of my racing thoughts and of the fear as it had overtaken my body. In that moment I experienced the most beautiful gift I have ever received; my heart opened wider than it ever has… the fear could not live in the love.
As a writer it is hard to accept that there are no words that can truly capture this experience. Fourty-six hours later I arrived home with my daughter safe and sound beside me. Upon arriving home it took close to a week before the experience could even start to integrated within, as I physically continued to suffer the consequence such stress can have on one’s body. The guilt was almost unbearable; and the fear almost crushed me, but the love…the break open your heart love…while that changed me.
© Kathy Bazinet 2015