were made. It was time to start the long drive to deliver them to the people
with direct access to the children; grassroots not-for-profits doing good and
trying to minimize the damage that was ongoing.
I had addressed my
own personal fears about the trip as well as I could.
I couldn’t speak any of the languages, I had met with native language speakers for
translations of the grandmothers’ voice.
husband and I had decided the continuing cash outlay was something we were
willing to do.
- I was
one person, but friends had given me moral support, for which I was deeply
grateful. These individuals also gave me strength at critical times during the
trip when fear nearly won out.
- I was
still afraid of being arrested simply for trying to help. I had spoken to
others and was aware of the possible consequences and penalties if this
happened to me.
- I knew
I was a target of violence from people who looked like me simply because I was
acting as an advocate for the marginalized. I made a plan and followed it all
during the trip in an effort to keep myself safe.
still hated to drive; but personal preference really wasn’t appropriate given
the circumstances, so I decided to just get over myself. (Which actually was
the key to all of the fears—putting my own issues aside to serve another.)
locations of the detention centers were still secret, but I was starting with a
crowd-sourced interactive location map, and then hoped that proximity and questioning
like an investigative reporter would get me the information I needed when I
needed it. (In other words, other than “South,” to begin, most days I did not
know where I was going.)
- I was
still terrified of immersing myself in the suffering of another, but this, too,
I knew I just needed to put aside. I had done the preparation to the best of my
ability, I would just have to trust that I could process appropriately during
and after the trip.
Although I had confronted my fears and was aware that “fearlessness” is a misnomer, no sense of courage replaced the fear. I had dealt with the negative emotion in a reasonable way, from my mind, which did not overrule the very real trepidation, distress, and vulnerability I felt. Facing those things allowed me to act despite my fear, and to prepare for the journey without being attached to the outcome. It was, in fact, time to begin.
Share your thoughts in meaningful dialogue –
Name ways fear can be both an asset and a liability.
Please tell about a time when you knew it was simply time to
When you feel afraid, how do you express it?