Sunday, September 13, 2009

Fear and the average housewife

by Ceitllyn Connal

I love football season that is the best part of fall, unless it’s hockey season. That is the best part of fall. Somewhere in there is baseball. Baseball is my second most favorite sport. I have my teams except for football; I just have teams I don’t follow. Hockey playoffs occur in the late winter early spring. Either you love it like a wonderful book or they drag on like a poorly made movie. Of course, it all depends on if my team made it that far. EVERYONE knows when a game is on; take your chances when you call me. Sometimes I yell a lot, no one can hear me through the television but I feel better! I have sports schedules on my work calendar. The only stats I follow is how far ahead or behind my teams are, at least it gives me something to talk to my son about.

I am not sure where this sports passion comes from. As a kid, I don’t remember watching sports much. High school opened up a little more understanding about football, and watching all the cute guys playing football. I saw my first hockey game years ago with a small local team. I don’t know why, I was hooked. Now years later, there is the same thrill and excitement with every new season - new players, new hope and new outlooks. Those eye-opening exciting experiences made an impact in my life that I have carried with me throughout all the following years. It occurs to me that it does not matter whether the experience is pleasant or hurtful; all of our firsts set the stage for each ensuing step.

I had no plans for my life after high school. I did not think I would be good for anything else besides having babies and being a housewife. When I had some accomplishments, I immediately talked myself out of their joy knowing it would never last and it was just a fluke. I was resigned to whatever happened I had no control over the inevitable. When I was about 33 or so an acquaintance kept explaining how we pick the family we are born into and other ‘drivel’ like that. I was incensed by those words, why would I want to pick my family and all the problems I had throughout my life. That was just bizarre. She also talked about choosing, drumming, power animals, actually changing your life. How could all that be possible? Weren’t you stuck with what you had? Growing up catholic puts a dramatic slant on ones views on life. She kept talking and I started listening.

So many years later, I think back on her conversations and how they began changing my journey. The only thing that continued to have a hold on me was my own fear of change. The known was bad enough what if I got worse in exchange. I did not think I could live if my situation got worse and if there were times that things were good the other shoe was bound to drop. It takes a lot of energy to constantly be on guard and maintain the status quo.

Today, while I still fall back on my old survival fear, I am beginning understand all the layers of information my fear actually has for me. Embracing all that the fear has for me can be very uncomfortable. It is like hugging a hedgehog, soft one way, pretty spinney another. What does this part of me have to teach, what are the lessons I may have to repeat ignoring them instead of facing them? When I want to push it all away and it revolts me to have it close, I can change my view by imagining my fear as the small child part of me. Seeing fear on the face of a small child opens my heart to embrace her and show her all the Love I have been denying myself.

My process of healing has encompassed the whole spectrum of my life. My family of choice has taught me a great number of things, not in the least is gratitude. I am not sure what I have taught my children except that anything in life can be changed (they are not so sure about this healing stuff!). It can be just a matter of changing your perspective, stopping to look back at where you were and where you are now. I am at this particular point in my journey by accepting that I did have a path and I could put a foot on it and move. It didn’t matter what direction I moved – up or down, in or out, sideways or forward, as long as I moved. It just does not matter. I am changing my point of view from a concrete linear road to a view from a completely different paradigm.

You never know what will happen when a game starts, all the fire, the anticipation; the emotions can take you places you did not foresee. Changes happen when you take the field or put a skate on the ice or a foot on your road. From that moment, you can surrender to or fight the flow. Our hearts hold the road and instinctively ‘knows’ the way.

I still do not know what my plans are for my life, but where ever my road leads I am becoming more willing to be in my heart while my life unfolds before me. I have come a long way from fear ruling every breath I took to Love guiding every heart-beat. All it took was a step.

In gratitude,

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