“Courage is being scared as hell and saddling up anyway.” – John Wayne
I’m learning to be courageous–to get back up and ride on even though I am scared. In this season I am thankful that fear is not the primary emotion, although it is definitely present in waves. God has been giving me the gift of peace, and for that I am thankful. In the midst of this deep peace, my deep fears show up and threaten to take me out, but I am learning to welcome the fear. I don’t need to run away and hide because then my fear becomes reality.
My deep fear is about feeling disconnected, separate, or alone. When the fear shakes my bones, I hold myself with kindness and curiosity. I feel the shaking in my inner being and hold the part of me that trembles close, even when there are no words. In this wordless place, I don’t demand words because there simply aren’t any. I just sit in the discomfort and bring kindness, curiosity, and presence. As I hold this terrified part of me, I am well aware of the fact that she can’t saddle up.
She needs to know that she is safe…
just to be…
to take up space…
I have to take her outside and hold her up until her wobbly legs stop shaking. Sometimes I need to draw her a bath and remind her that she is not alone and that she can ask for help. I remind her that her needs are good and that she is worthy of the love and care her shaking soul is desperate for.
This week when I was shaking in terror, I barked at my husband and stomped my feet. He let me throw a fit, and then I pushed him away and sat outside alone. Later, when I found words, I circled back around, and he was there. He didn’t get mad and make me pay for my tantrum, but he took me into his strong and loving arms and gently said, “I love you still…”
My terrified part needed to hear that, needed to know it’s okay. Even when I have no words or strength to stand, no one is going to throw me on a horse and demand that I ride or be okay when I am not.
This small and wounded part of me desperately needs to find God–the presence of LOVE which is strong and steady right inside of my own heart.
I don’t need to run away or fight against the terror and saddle up anyway. I need to be still and orient myself to the perfect, unshakable light. I need to locate myself on the map. I see so much but fail to see me. I’m under the bed, shaking and hiding, or running into the streets trying to tend to the wounded. I don’t even notice the trail of blood I’m spilling behind me until I stop—not shut down and collapse, but simply slow…
Be gentle and still…
Listen – to my own heart.
Hold it with love.
I am safe
Here and Now!
I am not alone.
Then, I put on my big girl boots and my cowgirl hat. I twirl around in the sunshine and ride on! Courage comes from and through the heart that has been battered and thrown from the bucking bronco. But also, from the heart that has been picked up and tenderly held and cared for. Even though it trembles, it is safe to get back on that horse and ride on!
Jean Masukevich is a trauma sensitive yoga teacher and integrative coach with over 20 years of teaching experience. Her mission is to guide others to greater mind, body, Spirit integration and connection to their authentic self. She cultivates communities of care where individuals and groups heal and share their hearts and stories through movement, writing, meditation, integrative prayer, creativity, and the sacred art of listening. Jean holds an advanced certificate in grief and trauma from the Allender Center of the Seattle School of Theology and Psychology, and is a certified Spiritual Director through Sustainable Faith. Jean serves both children and adults and is available for in person and remote coaching. Contact her at Sowthatjean@gmail.com.