Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Lessons from Falling Off a Horse

I recently took a spill off a horse named Pride

Pride is a tall, strong dark beauty, a steed that keeps me safe, high and mighty above all others who do not understand or see my way of thinking. Pride held me high within self-righteousness, above and beyond others and their hearts. But when enough hearts collectively feel hurt and anger, they come together as one to speak loudly against Injustice, the weapon that threatens the life of a mighty steed such as Pride.

Once on the ground and licking my wounds, feeling victimized and unappreciated, I protested because I knew I was right and they were wrong. I attempted to stand and remount Pride, taking offense and placing blame on everyone else. Pride huffed, stomping the ground with her hoof over the injustice, standing by to protect me as I found excuses and reasons for being thrown off my high horse. But in protecting me, Pride over zealously dealt a few blows, rearing in protest, knocking me down again as I attempted to stand against the perceived injustices. The harder I fought them, the harder Pride fought too, until her efforts to defend delivered a final blow; knocking me out, leaving me breathless and helpless in the muck and mire of the cold hard truth. If I stood once more, Pride would continue to fight, and ultimately, I would be battered and defeated. I realized then, until I sent Pride away, I would never recover from my fall.

We all have a high horse named Pride that misleads us into believing we are safely rooted in what we believe is the truth and that which we are unwilling to yield. A truth we are unwilling to acknowledge the remotest possibility that we could be wrong. A truth that tightly reins in our belief to make us feel okay; just within our choices, our behaviors, our actions, despite leaving others feeling hurt and unfairly treated. Pride allows us to sit tall, above all and others, protected from lowering ourselves to the level of those we’ve hurt, disappointed or upset. She keeps us from looking at these individuals and seeing their points of view, their perception of who we’ve been or what we’ve done through their own eyes. Pride protects us from realizing how we made others feel less than, misled, and worthless.  From this “above it all” mount, we take comfort in the unwillingness, even a reluctance to admit wrongdoing. Admitting we are wrong is tied to our sense of self-worth, because if we admit we are wrong, we perceive ourselves as weak. Pride protects us from coming down to a ground level and recognizing our weaknesses through the eyes of others.

Muddied, bruised and exhausted in my fight to get back into Pride's saddle, I finally realized through the eyes of those around me, I was wrong. I had been harsh, impatient and demanding towards those who felt unjustly treated. I thanked Pride, smacked her hindquarter, and sent her on her way, choosing to stand on the ground with those I had wronged so I may see myself through their eyes. I placed myself in their hearts, their shoes, and witnessed from their perspective how I had treated them. Only then did I realize I had stood in similar shoes during my lifetime with other authority figures, gently reminded how unjustly treated I had felt.

With this newfound perspective, I began the healing process of restoring my relationships with these individuals, as well as myself. I practiced the five languages of an apology (Gary Chapman) and humbled myself to accept responsibility for my actions with the promise to move among them rather than ride high above them. I apologized – not with a superficial “I’m sorry” but with heartfelt recognition of how I made them feel and by acknowledging my faults and mistakes. And more importantly, I asked for forgiveness. Forgiveness removes the barrier created by the offense and opens the door to restoring trust between two people, and thus the relationship. Without genuine contrition, without forgiveness, one may be able to move on from the experience, but the relationship may never be restored to its original dynamic.

Sitting high and mighty cost me the trust, respect and love of those I hurt. I now ride a beautiful white thoroughbred named Grace. With Grace, I ride alongside others, rather than above them, With Grace, I am connecting more deeply with them, deeply restoring our relationships. And now, I move through the process of forgiving myself.  By doing so, I allow myself to deepen a connection with myself, and God in a healthier, loving and self-respecting way. Grace keeps me grounded in God. Without her, my relationship with God, myself, and others would be forever diminished.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Life is a Box of SHI(f)Ts

It has been a while since my last blog post. I haven't felt the call to write. I haven't felt the space to write. The Universe is opening that space, urging me to open my Third Eye, and challenging me in the latest shift of my Life. Read more below.

You never know what Life has planned for you.  It all seems set, the path determined, and then the God comes in like Emeril and goes BAM! And suddenly you’re on a new path, a detour on which to

My "determined" path was mapped out as follows:  Move to Owensboro to take care of mom, then after a brief stay in Evansville/Newburgh, return to Owensboro to take care dad. Live in Owensboro until that time comes to pass when Dad himself passes to a better Life, and no longer needs me.

Yet a new path has been assigned and I’m in this weird space of uncertainty.  I really hate that space, don’t you?  It means decisions have to be made, and then doubts come up, the ones repressed by what you thought was your path determined, a life defined. 
  • Doubts that beg the questions of what, when, where, how.
  • Doubts that command I let go and let God do the figuring out of things.
  • Doubts that have to be silenced so I may listen, and clearly hear the intuitive guidance of my Highest self.
  • Doubts that stir impatience within, the need to know NOW, the need to know the answers so the waves of anxiety created by the tide of uncertainty can calm, ease the breathlessness, the knots in the stomach.

I have felt an uneasiness since summer. I have sensed major changes and a shift making its way since early fall.  And in that knowing, I have felt myself spiraling downward into an eddy of uncertainty and anxiety.  Everything around me, that which I felt confident and certain began imploding into a mass destruction of complacency.  I really should’ve known not to become complacent, because when you do, it is like Emeril’s frying pan over the head – BAM! You aren’t ready for it, even in the knowing and sensing something was coming.

The whacks upside the head came one at a time.  
BAM! - The overwhelming sense of depression, hopelessness, along with the questions of why bother with life.  
BAM! - A realization that I had not been myself lately at work, and was struggling with how to address it.
BAM! - The blindside confirming my realizations, but through the sense of feeling utterly thrown under the bus of just how awful person I had become in my stress-induced life of hopelessness and depression.
BAM! - Believing I couldn’t feel and go any lower, my sole/soul purpose for returning to Owensboro – my father – must move two hours east where he will be safer, and ultimately happier. 

God had a plan and a hand in each and every one of these unexpected mayhem experiences to ensure I return to the purpose driven path I am meant to travel during this life experience of mine.

Now in Owensboro, I am standing in the intersection of “Well Shit” and “Now What?” God is inviting me to revisit my God-given healing and intuitive gift which I uncovered and discovered while in Colorado; this gift I chose to walk away from and shut down six years ago out of fear. I am being asked to open my Third Eye again for others, wider and more willingly than before; to see beyond what is, and to share this gift with others. I’m gulping as I lean into this uncertainty, trusting and knowing God and my spirit guides shall provide clarity and guidance. I forgot how incredibly exasperating, yet humorous a ride these SHIfTs can be. It’s been a while.

I’m buckling my seat belt and hanging on. See ya on the other side.