I love my backyard, especially in the early morning. The world is just starting to awaken, you can begin to hear birds chirping and squirrels hunting for food. You hear rustling in the leaves and know it is an animal looking for breakfast. In the stillness of the morning, if I am lucky, I can see families of deer walking through the woods behind me. The crisp air and the pink sky remind me it is the beginning of a new day, a day to be grateful for, to be experienced.
On the weekends, my cats, Lucy and Ricky get to enjoy that early morning with me. We all venture outside for fresh air. This time of year I will have a jacket on or a shawl wrapped around me with my hot coffee in my hand to stay warm. I walk onto the deck and the 2 of them begin to wander the fenced in part of the yard. They do not venture beyond that and often come back when I call. The weather isn’t warm enough for Ricky yet, so he gets cold quickly and usually heads back to the house in a few minutes. He will sit right inside the sliding glass door, with them open mind you, and watch me and Lucy.
On this particular morning, I saw the first cardinals of the season. There were 2 of them chasing each other across the yard from tree to tree. They were flying and chirping and having fun! This also happened to be the day before my brother’s birthday. Hard to believe he would have been 62 years old! And cardinals were his favorite bird! I smiled and said good morning to my brother as I knew these birds were visiting me for a reason. As I sat thinking about Steve and how much I missed him, I noticed Lucy was in hunting stance. Lucy is considered mildly obese. She is 15 pounds with short legs and a short body. She is chubby, emotional, and very much a mirror image of me at times. Here she was crouched down and watching these two cardinals flit and fly around. I watched her intensity. She had one paw sticking straight out as if she was ready to pounce given the opportunity. She was as quiet as could be waiting for her opportunity. I laughed to myself, given her girth, she couldn’t catch these birds if her life depended on it, but she didn’t know that. She has never caught anything before except a mouse once and that may have been already dead! But here she was, thinking she was the great hunter going after her prey. She didn’t know any better. Her instincts as a cat kicked in, without judgements, without fear of not being able to do it and without stopping to think “can I do this?” Nothing holds her back from following her instincts, what she believes is the right thing to do.
I thought about the question that I have heard asked by many a schooled presenter “What would you do if you knew you could not fail?” Think about this, Lucy doesn’t know she can fail; she doesn’t judge herself or let her weight, or her domesticity hold her back. She was out there thinking she could get these cardinals. How many times do we allow our judgements, our physical presence or our fears hold us back from trying? I know I have such a fear of making a mistake that I let that hold me back a lot. I second guess me a lot, and so then it is easier to just not try something than to try and fail.
This pattern of behavior is one I am working on changing. I know that I allow my own self talk to stop me from trying things or cause me to second guess myself. I am learning that I also allow things outside of me to hold me back from being true to me. It could be as simple as not going to a restaurant I want to go to because it is “easier” to give that decision away than risk someone else’s happiness. However that means I often end up not where I really wanted to be. That can certainly begin to build resentment and for what? Because I didn’t assert myself? I have also used this pattern as a way to protect my heart. I second guessed myself all through my second marriage. I lost confidence and thought I was not a good person by the end of that marriage. My ex-husband had a lot of control over my opinion of myself. I lost trust in me, in my instincts, in who I was.
In order to affect this and change these patterns, I need to learn to trust more. Trust myself. Trust that the universe is working to my greatest good. Trust that things are unfolding in the way they are supposed to unfold; without manipulation, without my controlling them.
As you know, I use affirmations a lot. So I wrote a new one down that I am saying each morning to remind myself to surrender and let things happen as they are supposed to occur.
“All is well. Everything is working for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come.”
Like Lucy, I don’t have control over everything else, just control over me and how I react or respond. I will not second guess myself. Lucy just watched and waited for things to unfold the way there were supposed to. She didn’t get the cardinals and in fact never even made a play for them. But she did reinforce a very important lesson. Follow your instincts. Trust yourself. Do not judge whether you can or cannot. There is no need to second guess you. There is no need to put up those walls.