Expectations of the Tribe

After teaching in high school did not work out I began to try to find out what I did want to do for a job or career.  The desire to find something where I could “help” people led me to apply for a job as a child welfare social worker in a public agency.  The supervisor must have seen something as she hired me to work in foster care and adoption.  There I was scared to death again wondering what I was doing as I had no clue how to do the work.  But this time I was blessed with a supportive teacher and supportive peers.  Although there were tears and sadness over the situations we faced there was also laughter and camaraderie.  I began to feel appreciated and a part of something good.

It was also a time in my life when the fear of never getting married set into my being.  During that time in American culture there was something wrong with you if you were not married by age 25.  So against all my intuition screaming in my ear I married someone I barely knew and seven years of more fear and depression followed.  We were two people who had little in common trying to make it work and achieve some misconceived dream.  Both of us were introverts without a clue how to communicate.  However, our biggest blessing was our daughter who changed my life and became a critical part of my learning not to run away from things in fear.  Unfortunately my husband got angrier and angrier in frustration over his unhappiness, and I felt lost and helpless.  The marriage ended through his courage to end it although many years of tension between us continued and impacted our daughter.  Supportive family and friends were critical in helping me raise her and provide a loving environment.  Growing up was not easy for her but that is a story for her to tell.

My husband and the marriage taught me even more about fear and how anger is related to it.  But the biggest lesson was about letting expectations of others drive you to ignore your heart.    A desire for something better in the way I lived began to grow in my heart.

Is there some experience in your life that you see as a disaster? Have you ever followed the expectations of others instead of your heart? Can you see now any lessons learned that helped your grow or move along in your journey.  Is there a gift in it somewhere?

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