Today is going to be an awesome day because I’m riding the wave and we’re on the upswing now baby! Monday was a real low point energy wise as you know by my post, Drumheller Adventures and a Grief Hangover. When I’m in the thick of grief, it can be quite a drain on my energy. Beyond the obvious tears and emotions, I feel it physically and can be incredibly tired.
What you don’t know was that I was actually dealing with a triple drain on my energy. Not only did I spend a day remembering and triggered my grief, I spent a day in the sun and face one of my biggest fears. What a combo: Grief, growth, and sun. Good night!
I have a tremendous fear of heights that frequently manifests itself when walking across anything I can see through. In this case, my fear was awoken by the Star Mine Suspension Bridge, a 117-metre long pedestrian suspension bridge which crosses the Red Deer River in Rosedale, Alberta. Did I mention I’m also not a big fan of water?
Our group of four set out to go across the bridge with me pulling up the rear (and dreading the crossing). My little one didn’t get far when he turned tail and ran back to “safety.” I happily followed feeling like I’d dodged the bullet on that one. My husband and niece decided to continue across the bridge – all the power to them.
But here’s the thing, my son wanted to cross the bridge but he was afraid. He became embroiled in an internal struggle between what he wanted to accomplish and what he was afraid to do. How I get that struggle! Because I too, wanted to cross the bridge, but I was afraid to do it.
After watching his dad and cousin cross the bridge again, and seeing that other people safely crossed the bridge, my boy was still struggling. Then I realized it was up to me. I needed to step up and face my fear so he could face his. And that meant admitting to him that I was scared too. So we had a little chat about it.
Then I mustered up all the personal strength I had left after a day in the sun and took that first step across the bridge. I didn’t look down. I couldn’t talk to anyone. All I could do was focus on one foot in front of the other and moving closer to the other side of the bridge – as fast as possible. Thankfully, there weren’t many other people on the bridge. I made it across and back. Phew! The best part about making it back to Corey was the enormous, proud smile he had on his face. I’ll never forget it. That alone was worth it.
So now that I made it back safely, if not a little shaky, my boy and I needed to have a chat about what he’d like to do next.
We didn’t push, just asked him if he really wanted to do it. He decided we’d go together, knowing he could turn around and go back at any time if he needed to. (Crap! I had to cross the damn bridge AGAIN!) We held hands as we went across and as we neared the middle of the bridge, he exclaimed, “I can do this. I trust myself.” From the mouth of babes – truth! We made it across, and on our way back, his dad suggested he let go of my hand which he did and he walked the rest of the way back by himself. I am so proud of him.
So I learned a few big lessons on that bridge:
- It’s a personal decision whether or not we face a fear. Only we get to choose.
- When we share our fears and involve others in our process we share strength.
- I have the best kid ever! (I never said I wasn’t biased.)
After crossing that bridge twice, I was elated but also shaking. I felt my fear physically. I don’t doubt it contributed to my energy lull this week.
When we step out of our comfort zone we expend energy and grow, and sometimes after that, we contract, turtle, hide. It’s like when building muscles. We have to push them to the limit and technically break them so they can grow stronger. Our muscles need a recovery period, and so does our energy. It took a couple of days for my energy to rebuild. I took steps to help it along, including rest and better nutrition.
Being a person who likes to get things done, this recovery period can be hard to navigate for me. I feel guilty and anxious doing nothing and I question my motives when I feel the need to stop. Am I just procrastinating? Avoiding doing something I don’t want to do? But I know me and I know that I need periods of nothing to be happy and healthy. (My hubby knows this too and is an awesome support.)
Interestingly, it’s in these rest periods that my thoughts and writing thrive. Because I’m not doing, my mind can wander and express my creativity.
Thank you to Vaughan Liddicoat and his awesome Facebook Live video this morning. His talk validated my experience. As they say, when the student is ready the teacher will appear (apparently in my Facebook feed). Today I learned about the Law of Rhythm and he gave me a new perspective on having a positive attitude when faced with challenges. Check it out!
Facing my fears and my grief took me down, but they are also bringing me up. They have helped me move forward with this blog and for that I am grateful. I’m riding the wave, taking life as it
I’m riding the wave, taking life as it comes, and being me.