Passion in Purpose

Be confident enough to say,
‘This is what I believe in. This is what I like.
This is my soul, exposed’
~ Geraldine James

Last week I went out on one of my trips to Solomon’s Haven, the safe haven for kids that have been removed by the courts from their families because of physical and sexual abuse, abandonment, and many other reasons. I’m in awe every time I spend time with these kids. They all come from different backgrounds and from different families but they are all one big family and the Haven is a place that is so filled with love.

The simple, yet colourful murals on the walls of the recreation room.

The simple, yet colourful murals on the walls of the recreation room.

Two of the girls, sisters, were heading home for the weekend and their mother was coming shortly to pick the girls up with their social worker. The smiles on the girl’s faces were huge and they excitedly paced around waiting for their mom’s arrival. Things are going well for these two girls and they now get to go home for visits with their family on weekends. One of the little boys I grew really fond of, just five years old, has been pulled back into the system. He was only at the Haven for 3 months but the other kids and the Solomon’s family had already become his family. He opened up to me the very first day I arrived. He spent ages with me, just talking. He was and is a precious little soul, wise way beyond his years. As if the lives of these kids haven’t been traumatic enough, it is traumatic when they get taken away from a place of safety that has become their home. Everyone who talks of the day just a few days ago that this little boy was taken away is very heart sore and it is hard for them to talk about it. They feel like they have lost one of their own.

On this particular day, one of the older boys at the Haven takes me around and shows me the renovations they have started doing. They are trying to accommodate different living areas, one for the boys and another for the girls. The boys currently have their room made up in an outhouse of sorts, previously used as a store-room. They are currently building another level on top of this room. I get taken upstairs first to see how far the alterations have come. It’s a slow process I’m told, they can only build as fast as they get donations in, which allow them to buy more building material. Next I get taken back downstairs and to the boy’s dormitory in the outhouse. It feels cold and damp inside and there are holes between the walls and the roof and by the windows. The boys have made make shift contraptions to catch the water when it rains. The doors don’t seal properly either and there are gaps letting in the cold air. At night, I’m told, it’s really cold inside here.

The little 3-year old girl, who has become rather attached to me, is once again by my side. From the minute I arrive until the moment I leave, she hardly leaves my side. She’s precious beyond words and always laughing. At just three years old it is hard to think of her away from her family but at the same time understanding the reasons why and knowing this is so much better for her now. She is safe here. She’s young, hopefully she will not remember too much and her beautiful laughter for me is always a sign of hope.

At some point doing the afternoon, with a confident stride she walks right up to me and whispers in my ear. Then we do a “pinky swear. ” The “Pinky-Swear” is the entwining of the little fingers “(pinkies)” of two people to signify that a promise has been made. The most sacred, serious, vowel anyone can ever swear to. A promise that comes straight from the heart and is sworn to value. The pinky-swear is the highest of all promises, an unbreakable oath.  It was a precious moment when a 3-year-old and I took the oath of a pinky-swear!

May we always remember the sacred code!

Pinky swear with a  3-year old. The highest of all promises, an unbreakable oath!

Special moments, a pinky swear with a 3-year old. The highest of all promises, an unbreakable oath!

The kids began school holidays on the day I visited last week. Their toys and games at the Haven are simple and yet keep the kids occupied. Some of the kids pull out an old small size pool table top and set up some bar stools in the middle of the recreation area to use as table legs and they gently rest the pool table top on top of the bar stools. There is only one pool cue, it is bent and at times some of the kids even pick up the broom stick and use the back of the handle as a make-shift pool cue.

The small old pool table resting on bar stools set up by the kids.

The small old pool table resting on bar stools set up by the kids.

The paintings on the wall in the recreation area are simple and colourful. But to all the kids, this has become home. It is a happy place and a place where love is dished out to anyone who walks through the door. The one 15-year-old girl, who has been out of school this year, finally has her school uniform together. Now she is waiting for the social workers to bring the paperwork so she can start at her new school. It’s frustrating watching someone who so badly wants to learn, but the red tape of the system is stopping her. I hope by the time the school holidays are over she’ll be back in school.

The hours fly by when I’m there. The children, from the 1-year old to the 20 year olds are all incredibly special in their own way. It’s good to see them laugh and smile knowing all that has happened in their short young lives.

When we focus on leading a passionate, meaningful life, we are also inadvertently creating a spectacular ripple effect of inspiration in the lives around us. When one person follows a dream, tries something new, or takes a daring leap, everyone nearby feels their passionate energy; and before too long, they are making their own daring leaps while simultaneously inspiring others.

As I gather my things to leave, the kids start coming up to hug me goodbye. I go down on my knees to be at their level as they all crowd in to hug me and then when the shy little girl, who has been severely traumatised, walks up to me as I kneel on the ground and then steps forward on her own accord and gently puts her arms around my neck and without saying a word she leans in for a hug goodbye too, my heart just melts. Maria watching through the open kitchen door, as she often steps back to allow the children to open up, mentions this to me. She can hardly believe that this little girl who shies away from everyone has just come up to me to hug me on her own accord. It’s something to celebrate.

I can’t help but smile as the realisation begins to sink in that just maybe the time I am spending at the Haven with these kids is beginning to make a difference.

The precious 3-year old who hardly leaves my side when I'm there.

The precious 3-year old who hardly leaves my side when I’m there.

As I drive home I remember back to a beautiful Sunday morning in late March when I stood up in front of a room full of people, life bubbling up inside of me and exploding outwards like fireworks. For the first time I truly knew the answer to the question “what are you waiting for?” In those moments I decided to do everything everyone had ever told me I couldn’t/shouldn’t do and now everything I have done over the last eight years has brought me to this moment that is this year so far.

My ChooseDay message is a little different today from what I normally post but the message is along the same lines. You are never on the wrong path, for it is all leading you to where you are truly meant to be even if you can’t see it at times. It is about trusting the journey you alone are on.

Now after many years of hard work, dreaming, sacrifice and putting action into place, I am now building the life that reflects my true purpose and my soul is singing.

Live your life so that when it’s time to ask where the time went, you can answer: “It went to joyful moments with family and friends, to my search for passion, to doing work that felt like play, to standing up for what I believe in, and to exploring this beautiful world we live in with an open heart. My time went to LIVING my life!”

Find gratitude in each day.

Hold the vision.

Trust the process.

~ Happy ChooseDay Everyone ~

~ All Photos By Me ~

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