I forgot who I am. My friends used to describe me with things like: fun loving, care free, wild child, tough as nails, hilarious as hell, and I absolutely did not give a shit. All that mattered was that moment. “No filter Heather”. I said whatever was on my mind all the time. Yeah, this gets me into trouble sometimes, and I have gotten better, but that’s part of what makes me ME. I started to doubt myself and what I was capable of. I forgot how far I have come in my accomplishments. I started to hate who I was. What happened to me psychologically? I’ll tell you.
My independence was stripped from me. This happens to everyone at some point, I think. For one reason or another. For me, it was an injury. I gave up who I was and became irritable all the time, disappointed in myself, and insecure. I lost a giant piece of who I was. I didn’t realize this until I had a very therapeutic hike up Stewart Falls. My injury controlled me. I was very bitter about things other people could do and I couldn’t. I tried to stay silent for a long time, but eventually it came out. I was resentful and hurtful and wasn’t being supportive. When I hiked up all the way to the top and back, it was like I was leaving all those negative feelings on the mountain. I came back and felt refreshed and more like myself than I have in a very long time. I did it, even though I was kind of nervous. I felt like I could get really hurt, I would over do it, I would fall and seriously mess it up again. I was careful and I took my time. I have a bad habit of rushing when I get anxiety, and I worked through it and practiced slowing down. It’s advice I constantly give my clients. “Wherever you are struggling with your dog, just slow it down into smaller steps.” So I took my own advice and slowed it down. I thought it through. Impulse control. Mental filtering. Things I have been teaching time and time again, and yet here I am. Doing the same thing all my clients are doing, yet I’m applying it to a different area of my life.
I went on another walk this week. One of my mentors would call it a ‘meditative pack walk’ because I wasn’t so concerned about corrections, or teaching. I was focusing on my energy, and learning to just be. I focused on my energy. Noticing things, and walking, but not really going anywhere or letting thoughts linger. I just let them pass through my thoughts without dwelling, worrying, stressing or holding on. I thought about a lot of things. But I focused on letting them go and just being. This is something I’m always trying to become better at. When I was at Cesar’s last year, I practiced this being in his DPC. I didn’t really understand the concept, and thought ‘I’ll try it later’. That’s exactly what I shouldn’t have done-there is always time to stop and think and be still. I was rushing, even then.
I’m learning to be. Again. I’m learning what I want, what I need, and figuring out who I am again. I have grown so much, and I’m so much more balanced, but there is always room to improve. I will never be perfect. I will never be the best. And I will never stop growing.
I am a strong person, but I lost sight of myself. I want to be the fun loving, bad ass, tough as nails Heather again. That’s who I am. But now, I’ll be stronger, better, and I’ll have learned from this. What we learn from our mistakes is what makes us who we are. This is what turns us into the people we are today. No regrets? Yeah right, we all have regrets. We all have our skeletons. But we have to get up, forgive ourselves, dust ourselves off, and hold our heads high after we make mistakes. Even the big ones, we have to get up at some point. Self love is an important part of life. We have to forgive ourselves and move on. I’ll never be complete, I’ll be a project for my entire life. I’m ok with that. I want to enjoy the journey a little more and stop worrying about the destination. THIS is who I am. Rushing to the finish line was a symptom of a bigger problem, an underlying issue that was hidden. Well, I found it and now I can treat it.