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Painting a New Life

Musings of the Day

The Wild Stallion and the Mother Lion

My son reminded me this past year that my spirit is that of a wild stallion, but somehow I had turned into a “domesticated horse." His sadness at seeing my spirit dampened, the thought that I might not be who he knew me to be anymore, tore at my heart and spurred me to look at what had happened to that wild spirit he depended upon. He is someone who will hold my feet to the fire, not allowing me to get away with giving up on myself or letting myself be anything other than all that I can be. We have been that for one another since he was very young and depend upon each other for radical truth-telling to this day. This is a rare gift that I do not take for granted and is essential to create the life I want for myself.

After sharing this story with my step-daughter, she was inspired to send me a painting she came across of a wild stallion. Though she doesn’t have the same history with me, over the years she has turned to me many times for my insight and willingness to speak the truth. It is important to both of them that I don't give up on myself.

My son has always looked to me for strength, wisdom and my resilient spirit. The depth of love I have for him and my commitment to him has kept me from giving up many times over the years. So, I keep that painting with my other sacred pieces as a constant reminder, one of the few paintings that is not of my own creation that inspires me to be more of who I am.

In the midst of despair and loss, primarily loss of who I thought I was, it is easy to forget who I am. Having others in my life who know me well, who have experienced my strength, determination and spirit and who have been impacted by me in some positive way, is key. They are mirrors to gaze into when I feel lost, reflecting my truth. They remind me of all that I have to offer, gifts worth fighting for. They count on me to never give up. I have helped and inspired and guided them over the years and they are there to remind me of that when I have forgotten my own abilities and strengths. Most important of all, they are beacons of light shining through the darkness, guiding me back home to them and to myself, steadfast in their love.

“A truly strong person doesn’t need the approval of others any more than a lion needs the approval of sheep.”

The Lion Spirit often appears when one needs to reclaim their space and take back a leadership role in life. This is the meaning that I attribute to the importance of this spirit animal in my life. I keep a photo of a lioness on my wall with the quote above to remind me to meet the challenges ahead with courage and strength and to claim sovereignty over my own life, like a mother lion who fights to protect her young, I am fighting to protect what is most precious to me.

I have written quite a bit about being a warrior, most recently about waging a different kind of war than one for survival. I have written about the “Heart Warrior” and the “Warrior Goddess”, and now the “Mother Lion” and “Wild Stallion”, but what does that actually look like in everyday terms? How does this Wild Stallion/Mother Lioness Spirit show up in daily life?

There is a fierceness in me, one that I thought had died long ago with all of the physical ills I was challenged with. If you’ve been following my journal posts, you have most likely read about the resurgence of that spirit. What I haven’t written about, because I honestly had no experience of it until now, is what a warrior spirit looks like in my life right now. What it means in how I create my life and work, and the choices I make. This is what I am discovering.

The chronic health issues I have faced became so much a part of my life that in some ways I have adapted how I live without really questioning if there was something I could do to alter them. Let me explain. I questioned a lot, but only to the degree that the answers fit into the life I had already been living, one that to some extent was still dedicated to a certain amount of survival. Survival of all that I believed I had to be and do. I wasn’t fully aware that I was limiting myself in this way. I was looking in familiar places instead of outside the box of what I already knew. What I didn’t know that I didn’t know was invisible to me.

It took something quite startling and unnerving to break through to what had been invisible, and now that I have, I am ready to let go of more. Ready to do more of the hard work of incorporating health promoting, lifesaving, actions into how I arrange my life.

Being a warrior, a Mother Lioness, a Wild Stallion spirit, means that whatever cause I am fighting for, I am willing to see what I didn’t want to see and do what I didn’t want to do in the name of that cause. The uncomfortable stuff that will disrupt my life further, the things I’ve been resistant to in the past, are now right in front of me as the possible keys to greater health. Greater health and the fulfillment of living a joyful and healthy life.

I am addressing those things now, resistance and all. It means being willing to have difficult conversations. It means letting go of things that I was using in place of living the life I dreamed of, things that were merely pacifiers but would never fill the void of a life unfulfilled. Being a warrior means that I place my cause, my health, above all else. That means my own temporary comfort as well. Just as I have failed to protect those in my care at times, I have also failed to protect myself. We do what we have the capacity to do at any given time, but with greater awareness we need to be willing to go further in our efforts.

I know from my own experience that there is no greater reward than the fulfillment of my commitment to myself. Looking in the mirror and being proud of the reflection I see, someone who has lived with the integrity of my own convictions, leaving no stone unturned, no matter how uncomfortable, is what I strive for. Knowing that the person looking back at me didn’t give in to the temptations or the old beliefs or the self-doubt or any external pressure, is a reward that is better than anything. Whether I ever fulfill my dream of good health and living the life I envision, knowing that I was a warrior for myself will be enough. Knowing that I have been all that I possibly can be for those in my life who depend upon that, especially myself, will be enough. It’s the WAY I live, not WHAT I accomplish.

That is what it means to me to live as a warrior, a wild stallion and a mother lioness, in everyday life. Day by day, moment by moment, choose my cause, and protect and defend what is most dear to me above all else. With love.

What are the things, who are the people, in your life that give you the courage to be a warrior in your life? And what are you a warrior for? What is so precious to you that you would be willing to see and do what you have previously not been willing to? These are questions that spur us on to be all that we can be, not in accomplishment as much as in fulfillment. I would truly love to have this conversation with you. I invite all comments below.



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