We start out perfect.
As in, no one ever looks at a baby and says ‘man, that baby’s a real jerk’ or ‘god, that baby really needs to go to therapy’ or ‘that baby really has some commitment issues.’
scoff scoff, huff puff, repeat.
Nope. Babies are perfect. (and dogs too: don’t argue with me on this one). And then the world happens, and us in the world. And we learn less about how big the world is, and more about how to survive, and how to be ‘good.’
Reason number 3472032 I love Kenya. I love the way I see so many of the children being raised here. With the AYP teachers anyway if you were to look at the kids running around you wouldn’t know right away who the Mom is, cause everyone’s hands are always open. I have never once heard a mother tell a child that they are bad, no dont do that, you know better….etc etc.
We were about 5 minutes to leaving to go back to Nairobi last weekend on a 4 hour bus trip and Baby Tully proceeded to dump a whole bunch of yogurt in her mouth, and then down her shirt…pants…shoes. She was a like a yogurt-covered treat. And Catherine, her Mom just smiles and says ‘oh it’s okay. You know, we don’t change babies so they can look good anyway, we change babies so that they can feel better.’ And as Baby Tully proceeded to put her sticky hands all over her outfit for any extra tastes, never once was she told anything that would make her believe that she was wrong.
I rediscovered this quote the other day
“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life, you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” — Descartes
Being here in Kenya has shown me that on any day you get the chance to see things brand new, and in that YOU, you get to be brand new. The doubt that I felt in the first few months here felt like concrete: I doubted others, I doubted myself, I doubted absolutely everything…and what I get now is how perfect that was. I was doing the best I could to figure out my truth…and the truth is messy.
To truly doubt everything you see, you must first realize that you do not know anything. Zero. And what reveals itself to you is new…and you get to see it like that…like a fully grown 31-year old baby.
I get to be in Kenya for one more week. I get to be among these beautiful teachers for one more week: learning. I get to walk down these red-dirt roads believing. I get to be in giant hugs and belly laughs (and I’m sure lots of tears) connecting. I get to watch amazing teachers share yoga with kids who see role models when they peek up from their down dogs: certain. Certain that this trip has forever altered the course of my life, because there is no way I will ever see the world small again. Because people, people are the opposite of small. What happens when you start to see the people around you, and the bigness of their hearts, and the expanse of their kindness…the world becomes forever huge, because each of these people become the world. And it really is simple like that.
I had to doubt everything to get to this place. I had to see how the fears that I had here that I clutched tightly in my palms were complete reflections of the side of me that were too dark for me to be with. Too real for me. Too honest. To understand that no matter where I went, these fears were coming with me. Until I finally said enough, and began to doubt the certainty that these fears could F with my life as though they had a heartbeat, and I let them go.
And I let them go.
My intention for this final week here in Kenya is to do that, let go, free-fall. To not hold on to every detail of this trip, to let even this go, so that I can be fully into the next moment.
In doubting everything I began again. I have earned this honor.
We’re just a bunch of big grown-up babies anyway. Start acting like it.