Revisiting Old Beliefs
"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which yo think you cannot do." Eleanor Roosevelt
The beliefs of a five year old are vastly different than those of a 35 year old. So why is it that I still hold some of them? Why is it that I let my fear of birds carry into my late 30's? Why is it that the things I found too difficult to deal with at 5 or 10 or 15 I haven't revisited and put to rest? I guess it felt like a chore list. I had checked off those things as "i know" and then considered it over. This is good, this is bad, I like these and I don't like these. I want to be like this and I never want to be like that.
For twenty or more years I walked around just owning the fact that I was afraid of birds. I had a long list of justifications and had instant imagery in my head to make me shutter at the thought of their feathers touching me. Case closed. Not so much. I desperately wanted to be able to have pasture raised eggs and chicken to eat that I (we) had raised. I thought I could finagle my kids and husband into caring for the animals and I would reap the benefits. This worked for a while as it was new and exciting but it got old and the task fell to me. I had strategies for feeding and watering that would get me out of contact of the chickens and if they were sitting on the eggs I just wouldn't get them. Really.
We had one chicken left from our original batch, she was about seven years old, maybe even older. She didn't lay eggs anymore and she had always been very skittish of humans, which I appreciated since I was skittish of her, so I just let her be. We coexisted. I gave her space and she gave me space. I had noticed her moving considerably slower over a couple week time period and could sense that her end was coming. She wasn't in any obvious pain and she had all the signs of chicken health. I was meditating in the back yard, eyes closed, on a very warm summer morning. I felt a presence so I opened my eyes expecting a dog, cat, or kid. Instead, in front of me, within a foot, was this old red hen. She had one leg up and her eyes closed. I didn't feel scared, i was mostly curious. There is no way anyone could have ever caught this chicken, she never would get anywhere near us. Yet right now she was an arms length away. I couldn't close my eyes again, I just sat there staring at her, really examining this small, fragile animal that had been the object of my huge fear. She gave me something that day. I don't know how to explain it but since then, my fear has moved to more of infatuation. I notice nearly every different bird, more than most people. I've been chatted up by crows, doves, and stared at by hawks since then. I will stop on walks to study them and relish in their beauty. They thrills me. Often they come ridiculously close and I love it!
I wondered how many other things have changed. What else have I just accepted that now is different? On a far deeper note, situations that we found unbearable and extremely frightening as children we put in a quadruple locked iron box in a dark corner marked do not open. What if as an adult that situation only holds about a quarter of the fear as it did then? We don't want to open the box, we are scared that it's going to be too overwhelming. Why would we then? I have taken a few things out of the box and I'm here to tell you, that when you begin to unload that box and shine love and forgiveness on some of those old wounds with your older smarter, wiser self, this is when your life truly begins. It literally feels like weights have been lifted, blinders have been removed, shades have been opened. When you are ready, this is where the true healing starts. Revisit old agreements, revisit old thought patterns. See if you still don't like tomatoes or if maybe they taste good to you now. Maybe your childhood fears are the key to your greatest joy.
Love and Light