Welcome the Lion on Your Path

by | May 10, 2024 | CASA Blog, CASA Updates

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We all encounter lions in our life, our personal life, and our life as advocates. Sometimes our lions are big; death of a loved one, a job change, a placement change, a failed placement, or a child coming back into care. Sometimes our lions are small; sickness, loss of a friendship, an unanswered text or email, a missed visit, a missed UA, or a failing grade. Big or small, they are lions in our path. It is hard to think about where we are heading or where we have come from when faced with the lion. Can I sneak past it? Can I outrun it? Can I fight it?  Can I go back and take a different path? 

Often when we come face to face with our lions, it is hard to see a way out. To imagine a different outcome where the lion doesn’t devour us. We blame ourselves, we blame others, we give up and give in. When we are at our lowest, when the lion is all we can see and hear, that is when we need to look for help. We all need help facing our lions, big or small. Sometimes it is as simple as talking to someone. Seeing and hearing from a different perspective can help our lions seem tame and manageable, seeing the lion for what it is. It will not devour us. Perhaps the lion is stopping us from going down the wrong path or forcing us to slow down and pay more attention to the things around us. To take things one day at a time and not get ahead of ourselves. To force us to self-reflect. To focus on what is, not what was or will be. 

As advocates, when faced with lions, Peer Coordinators and Program Coordinators are here to help you. As advocates, when your children are faced with lions, you are there to help them. We can come alongside one another and help tame the lion. Help the lion not seem so big and scary.  What are our options? What do we have control over? What do we not have control over? How do we get past this lion? What is the lion in our path trying to teach us? What happened, but more importantly what didn’t happen?  

Our children, just like us, have been down so many different paths in life. Some are chosen, some are chosen for us. We have ended up on right paths and have ended up on wrong paths. We have made U-turns, have stumbled, have ran, have been pushed, pulled, and been dragged down our paths. We hope that with every step we are heading in the right direction. We come so close to our destination at times, it is within eyesight and then a lion shows up out of nowhere.

As advocates, it’s crucial to recognize and address the lions faced by the children and families we serve. Whether these challenges are major or minor, we stand ready to support and guide them through. Together, we can confront these obstacles, focusing on what we can control and learning from the experience. Just as our life paths may take unexpected turns, it’s how we confront and overcome these obstacles that ultimately shapes our journey.

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Court Appointed Special Advocates are community volunteers who speak up for the best interests of children in foster care. Volunteer CASAs work for the best interests of kids by advocating for their safety and permanency.

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