Growing up out in rural East Texas, riding horses was an everyday part of life. One day when I was a little girl, I asked my mother, “When was my first time riding a horse?” She said, “Oh honey you’ve been riding since before you were born.” Being pregnant had not stopped my mother from horseback riding. She is a real life, bona-fide cowgirl.
One day as I was galloping with my horse, Sugar, she stopped suddenly and I went flying over her head, landing flat on my back in the pasture. The wind had been knocked out of me. I began to cry as I limped toward the house. I had always felt so safe on my horse, but this fall shook my feeling of safety. I told my mother, “I don’t want to ride Sugar anymore. I don’t trust her.” My mother smiled and said, “She just got scared and stopped too fast. Now you feel scared, but you have to go and get right back on her.” My mother knew that fear would have a chance to settle in and grow unless I conquered that fear right away. Mother said, “You have to let her know who is in charge. You have to let her know that she can trust you too.”
Some of you know that I crashed my car on Highway 43 on Tuesday, June 15. I glanced over to take in the beauty of the Willamette river for what seemed like only a second. When I looked back at the road there were two cars stopped right in front of me at a red light. I slammed on my brakes, but there was not enough time to stop. I don’t know how fast I was going when I hit the nice lady in the Mini Cooper in front of me. The speed limit on that road is 45 mph, so I am guessing I must have been going at the least 30 at the point of impact. My first thought, sitting in the fumes from the airbag inflation was, “I never want to drive again.” And I meant it.
I felt terrible for what I had done. One of my main purposes in life is to facilitate healing, and here I was causing an accident. It now seems so strange how it all happened. I have glanced at that river many times driving into Portland. Why was this time different? And how had it happened so quickly? I have been doing some forgiveness work this week. Forgiving myself for allowing a moment like that to occur.
Both the woman that I rear ended, and the man that she subsequently rear-ended, were so kind and gracious. I think of them daily and send prayers for healing. My body is feeling much better today. I am amazed at the power of positive thought. When the crash happened, I found myself a bit out of it. When I got out of the car I felt a sense of shock at what had happened. I couldn’t believe that I had let this happen! But when I realized that everyone was going to be okay, I cried in gratitude. “Thank you God, thank you God, thank you God.” I believe that part of my speedy healing stems from my choice to immediately go to gratitude after the crash.
Yesterday I needed to run some errands, and my husband, David, is out of town. I realized I was going to need to drive again. I felt fear wash over me. As I picked up the car keys I kept seeing the image of my own car slamming into the back of the Mini Cooper. I felt my body shudder with fear. I sat on the stairs in our home and cried. And then I sang a prayer, “No mistakes have been made in God. All the ways that we seem to fail, in God all fade. It all fades into God.”
I sat on the stairs with my fear and let it wash over me. I said, “I am not this fear. I am that through which this passes.” I took a deep breath, felt the fear dissipate, and with the help of my Higher Power, got back in the saddle of driving again.
We must all face fears in our lives. These moments are precious nuggets to savor, for these moments show us what we are really made of, deep down in our core.
Is there something that you have been avoiding because of fear? A conversation? A life change? If so, I invite you to consider that you are not the fear. You are that through which the fear passes. And whatever choices you make, all fade into God.
May your day be filled with beauty and a sense of safety.
After reading the above post, my friend, Paula, said, “So many of us are concerned about you. How are you REALLY feeling?” The truth is that I am feeling so much better than I thought I would by today. I am moving around well. There has been some stiffness in my neck, and the muscles are spazing a little, but to look at my car, and then at myself, I feel like a miracle. Please know that all is well. =)