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Hello old friend

Updated: May 7, 2023

Hello old friend, previously when you came knocking, I shut the door in your face. I now acknowledge your presence and tell you it's okay to stay awhile.

The day is dawning. I'm barely awake, and I become aware of a pain in my chest. I turn inward, take a deep breath, and say to it, I know what you are; you are fear.

I won't push you away, ignore you, or talk myself out of feeling the sensations you bring to my body. Instead, I will welcome you and search for the guidance you carry.

Even as I think this, I can feel myself pushing you away. You make me uncomfortable like I want to squirm in my seat or dismiss you altogether.

I learned the hard way this doesn't work. You will remind me over and over you are present. You might even yell at me if I ignore you long enough.

I take another deep breath and feel the ache in the center of my chest. I turn to something new I recently learned from Mel Robbins. I put my hands over my heart and said, "I'm okay, I'm safe, I'm loved."

I find myself repeating the phrase several times as if my being doesn't believe its meaning. After a few repetitions, I notice that the ache has subsided ever so slightly.

The fear I feel is not irrational. It is understandable. I need to be patient with it, allow it, and trust myself to move forward when the time is right.

As the morning unfolds, I endure some momentary lapses of self-degrading as I think I should be better and not feel this way. Tears spill down my cheeks, but I catch myself and let those thoughts go as quickly as they came.

The truth is that I'm doing enough, and I am enough. And it's okay to take a step back when things get hard. We all know progress doesn't come in a straight line, yet we rail against the setbacks, often feeling defeated. Going backward often provides the momentum to push further the next time.

I am better able to trust the process of growth in recent years. And at long last, I am treating myself with understanding and kindness instead of ridicule and disdain.

*Written December 17, 2021. The journey back to fully riding Rudy has been challenging, post my riding accident this summer. Even though the incident did not involve Rudy, the trauma is affecting my ability to ride him faster than a walk.

Ru did nothing wrong on this day. I asked for the trot and he moved into a nice forward trot but I felt out of control. When the ride was over, I made sure Rudy knew he was a good boy and that he did nothing wrong. It was a true case of "it's me, not you."

Picture: Rudy was playing peek-a-boo with me when I snapped this picture. As I was hunting for an appropriate image for this I thought of this one because sometimes the fear is there and sometimes it isn't.

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