Not too long after my last post, I went on my first solo hike in over fifteen years. It was something I needed to do, not to get away from anything or anyone, but for myself.
I’m a naturally introverted person, so that means I need some alone time to be able to function.
I also tend to take care of others’ needs above my own. I’m a mother. I think that’s natural and I willingly do it. But this combination can be a recipe for disaster.
Because I at one point was diagnosed with depression (postpartum), I know just how dangerous it can be to allow myself to fall into that dark hole again.
Each day is a fight. A fight to keep myself happy and healthy while balancing this with the needs of my beautiful family. It doesn’t always feel like a fight, but then there are times that in a very real sense, I am fighting for my life.
Now I realize this may sound dramatic. It’s an internal war that most of the time people aren’t even aware I’m fighting. I’m okay with that. I’m not always sad, angry or depressed. Most of the time I’m not. Most of the time my life is filled with so much joy I can barely contain it all. I am fully aware of just how much I have been blessed and I take great happiness in the little things in my life.
However, if I forget to take care of myself (which happens), then I feel that depression creeping up on me.
The best way to describe it is the feeling of being stalked by a wild animal. You know that cougar or bear is back there and you just need to get to safety before something happens. Lucky for me, I have learned where my safe zones are and what I need to do to get there.
Hence, the solo hike.
Out on this hike there was just me, the trail and my God. I was able to let everything go as I pushed my body to hike up those trails. I didn’t have to think of anything or do anything except hike. This allowed myself to listen and what I heard was powerful. I am strong, brave, gentle, loving, persistent, talented, blessed. It’s hard to convey in words what an amazing spiritual experience this was without diluting the sacred nature of what happened.
This experience has made me realize something. Sometimes you just need to re-discover yourself. I didn’t learn anything new on this hike that I didn’t already know, but I did need to be reminded of it. I think we know ourselves better then we think, but the “world” would have us forget.
We see so much, but we don’t often see ourselves or the potential we have. This is one of my biggest stumbling blocks. When I haven’t taken care of myself the way I should, I begin to despair and to believe that negative voice that tells me my efforts are worthless or that I’m never going to get there. I know this isn’t true so why do I let myself even entertain those thoughts? Well . . . because I’m in a constant battle for my life. I’m going to win though. And I’m going to win it joyfully and with Light, knowing who I am and where I want to go.