As those of you who know me, know about me, I am not easily discouraged. I am not easily swayed from my task at hand. I persevere, even against steep odds at times. It is this sense of resiliency that has helped me to do some of the things that I have done in my life, and has helped me to secure some of the relationships that I most treasure.
However, I do get knocked down. I have noticed over the last few months, that I tend to react less intensely, or feel as deeply impacted, when I do get knocked down or around. It doesn’t seem to hit me as hard as it has in the past. In the past, when I would get knocked down in my process (and just to be clear, I am saying all of this in a figurative sense; I have never been intentionally abused by anyone physically), the impact would be felt in a very physical sense.
When I would get hammered with something emotionally, my body response felt much like when I fell off of a horse years ago; yep, that would be me. Well, when I fell off said horse, it literally knocked the wind out of me. Has that ever happened to you? For a few seconds that seemed like minutes, I couldn’t talk or breathe. It is frightening and anxiety producing.
It took me years, 24 years to be exact, to get back on a horse.
Which kind of applies to my life experiences with getting knocked down also. In the past, I would get knocked down by someone, either by their words or their actions. I would literally feel like the wind had been knocked out of me, especially if I hadn’t seen it coming.
And, honestly, I usually didn’t see it coming. A person with an objective view might have known it was coming, or been able to see the train wreck ahead. Not me. I couldn’t face up to events like that in the past. So, when they would occur, I was stunned, wind knocked out of me, shaking, shocked, and hurt, usually. It almost always meant that I took it within myself, and blamed myself for not noticing, for not being considerate, it was always about something that I could have done differently. Even knowing that situations that occur bear shared responsibility, I almost always took the full blame myself.
It would take me some time to pick myself up, dust myself off and feel like myself again. However, I would feel a bit timid about trusting myself, about going the same path, about whether I should listen to what others told me on my way to hitting the ground, rather than the truth that I knew was within my own heart.
Enter, 2008. What a year that was for me, in so many healthy ways. Learning to trust my heart. Learning to give it a voice through writing. Meeting so many like souls, and opening myself up literally to the world. And, being resilient. I think that I grew my true resiliency in the last year. The ability to truly, truly stand up for myself. Without apology. Without guilt. Just because it was the right thing. Learning that it is okay to say no, especially when I am uncertain about something.
And, learning to be resilient. To get back up, right away, and dust off and go on. I got an email yesterday from a person in the community, with some rather negative feedback about the candlelight vigil that I held earlier this month. He had been there, with a group of students, and told me that without their participation, it would have been a bust. He also chastised me for not working with other local LGBT groups, instead of organizing separate events and competing with them.
Knock down………. lost my breath…..
That lasted about five minutes.
I regrouped, listened to my soul, and realized, that there was a bit of good information in there, but all of the personal stuff I didn’t need, and my soul didn’t either. I threw all that away. I was dusting myself off.
Then, I wrote him back. Thanked him for the feedback. Wrote to the director of the other organization, to inquire how we may be able to work together.
And, lo and behold, it looks like I am walking into an opportunity. All born of getting knocked to the ground. AND getting back up.
It feels great, walking my path, and eating some dust. I am growing, changing, evolving, and loving with my whole heart.