“When I dare to be powerful — to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid”.….Audre Lorde
When I was 15 years old, my father, a devoted firefighter who absolutely loved his job, died at a fire. He was 36 years old. Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with a fear of wildfires. Try as I might, the sight of black smoke in the skies sends me into an emotional tailspin.
This week I’ve had a chance to better understand this fear, as San Diego has been consumed with 9 different major fires, many of them burning near my home and near where Remington lives. At one point, I found myself running back and forth between the stables and my home, preparing to evacuate both locations. Thankfully, both Remington and my husband and I as well as our other critters didn’t have to leave. Several of the fires still burn but at this point, we are safe.
Yesterday when I was grooming Remington, trying to stay focused and calm despite my worries about the fires, Remy made it clear that he wanted me to let go of my fearful thoughts. Fidgeting and pinning his ears, his message was clear: “This energy doesn’t feel good!” I stopped, took a few deep breaths and began to stroke his head lovingly and slowly. I concentrated on connecting deeply with my horse, sending him healing energy. His head began to drop, his eyes started to close and his breathing slowed down. I too shifted….feeling the wonderful and soothing energy of relief and goodness flooding through us both.
It’s times like these when I am humbled and reminded why I am so grateful to have animals in my life. I may not always have a handle on my own personal fears, but when I focus on my vision of being an advocate for animals, those fears can’t hold a candle to the power of my convictions.