Into the Woods

Woods

Yesterday, J and I took a nice leisurely walk with our pup to the dog park. Even though it was fairly hot outside, I really enjoyed getting away from our home space and outside of my head for a change. As we strolled through the beautiful, shady landscape that we are lucky to have right up the street, I had a lightbulb moment.

J loves the outdoors…capital, bold, underline LOVES the outdoors. He is all about nature and hiking, dirt biking, fishing…you get the picture. I, on the other hand, rarely find myself seeking the solace of Mother Earth’s bosom. Other than my 6 month stint in Kenya, I have never recreationally camped or hiked or done any of that stuff by choice. Well, as my family and I were taking our time yesterday, really enjoying the sunshine and the clear air, I realized that I felt an overwhelming sense of peace. “That’s weird…” I thought to myself. Why was I able to find such comfort in an activity I supposedly detested?

That’s when it hit me. In the past when I’ve gone hiking or done anything active in the outdoors, I have always been focussed solely on trying my hardest not to misstep or fumble or die. Dramatic, I know, but that’s how my brain work. On those journeys, I am consumed with the minute details: where to put my feet, how hot it is, or how far we have left to go. I never look up. I never see the beauty that is around me or appreciate the blessing of being able to move my legs, swing my arms, and feel my heart pumping in my chest. I never look at the bigger picture that is the wonder of adventure! Yesterday, I was able to do just that. With my hand in J’s, I trusted his leadership and just relaxed for once. It’s not about the destination or where we were going, but it was about enjoying every minute of the ride.

I think that is a lesson I need to take into every aspect of my life. Often, I am consumed with anxiety, worrying endlessly about these details that I think are so important at the time simply because my life lens is zoomed in about a hundred times what it should be. As the poster child for Codependency, I obsess over the smallest of things …even those that are completely out of my control. My blinders are on, and I am missing all the beauty and wonderment around me. But then it dawned on me yesterday like a gift from the Earth herself: It’s okay if things don’t go exactly as I want them to -if my foot doesn’t land on the exact place I plan it to- and I slip; I will get up again. it’s okay to look up from the ground and not plan every move I make; I will make it to where I need to be, one way or the other. And it’s more than okay if I have no idea where this road that I am on is heading; wherever I end up will be a gift.

Actually, it’s more than okay. It’s freeing.

Hello, Mother Nature, my name is Freedom and it’s about time we met.

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6 thoughts on “Into the Woods

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