Heartbreak… Let’s face it, we’ve all been there. Maybe you were dumped, diagnosed with a life threatening illness, suffered loss, financial downturn, or simply gave in to fear. It’s that moment when you feel completely numb, isolated and alone, desperate for something or someone to give you faith. My own heartbreak and battle with heart disease led me to create Voices To Share… Healing Hearts One Voice at a Time. Together we'll banish self-pity, and invite prosperity in all matters of the heart. As a Heart Coach, I will share: inspirational stories that will give you courage, tips to shift your fears into love, recipes and products to live a heart healthy life.


Ginger's Voice

The minute I met Ginger I was intrigued.  She has such a zest for life, and I'm always excited to hear about her latest adventure.  She recently returned from a trip to Cambodia where she met children infected with HIV and AIDS.  I'm honored to share Ginger's voice.

Cambodia Gives New Perspective on Taking Risks
By Ginger B.
My husband and I purchased a trip at a charity auction to raise money for Friends Without a Border, the funding and program supporter for the Angkor Hospital for Children (AHC) in Siem Reap, the second-largest city and tourist center of Cambodia.  We didn’t think too much about what we were getting into, both of us being a bit spontaneous and even more so after finding the open bar.  All we knew was we were going on an adventure, but little did we know it would change us forever.
There is an HIV problem in Cambodia that continues to rise in rural areas.  When farmers find themselves in the close company of the city’s prostitutes -- with little education on HIV and a cultural stigma against condoms -- the men contract the disease.  Returning back to the farm months later, they bring home the disease to their wives.  As their family grows, they unknowingly pass the disease to their newborn babies.

As the doctor told us these stories on our drive towards the outskirts of town, it became clear that these children had seen the darkest moments of the world:  loss, physical pain, and shattered dreams.  They had lost parents, felt the painful repercussions of HIV-related illnesses, and had an uncertain future dependent on medical advances and their access to them.  On top of this, they lived in poverty.  I expected a very glum situation.

We arrived at the first home.  The children were playing hide-and-go-seek, laughing, smiling, with joy in their faces.  When they saw the doctor, one child came forward, no less content than the others.  The doctor sat with him, checking his supply of pills and giving him a short physical, joking with him and tickling his feet.  Although small for his age, nothing about the child would have indicated his illness.  And in his eyes there was not a speck of that glumness I anticipated.  He was surrounded by his extended family, cared for by this doctor, and in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  He didn’t have much in the way of anything material, but what he did have was enough.

As we drove back down the little dirt road, I felt privileged to be able to peek into this world.  To see joy in people’s eyes firsthand, due to nothing except that for today, things were okay.  Today they had some food, today they had health under control, and today they were surrounded by loved ones.  That was all that was needed. What I realized is it takes very little to live, and the chance to be happy does not suffer as long a person has food, good health, and have a community to feel connected to.

So what does this have to do with risk?  Many people, including myself, hold back from doing things because of the fear of losing something.  Fear of losing time, money, or face to others and even yourself.  What if this doesn’t work?  What if it’s a waste of time? What will they think if it’s a total failure?  Who am I to think I can do this?  It can be paralyzing. 

But, to look into a world and see somebody who has lost everything, and still see joy, the world still turning, hope and love still swirling around, then why NOT take a risk?  There is nothing to fear, the best humanity has to offer is still there even at what most westerners would consider the “bottom.”  The only difference is lack of material things, but this rare experience showed that our stuff isn’t the stuff that joy is made of.

T.S. Eliot wrote, “…And the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”  Those children in Cambodia gave me something to walk away with that would change me forever, by showing me my own world in a new way.

This year, I will take more risks.

To make a donation to Friends Without a Border, providing funding and program support to the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, Cambodia, please visit http://www.fwab.org/.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you for sharing your voice!