Dare boldly

A blog by Louise Gallagher

My guiding light.

16 Comments

I have been running a race. Against time. Against myself. Against an unseen opponent. Running in the ‘fear fog’ as my daughters’ friend De calls it in her blog, 7 days. That space where my mind wants me to believe it’s in control, that it knows best, that listening to my heart is not wise.

My heart is wise. My head is strong — and it gets lead astray too easily by my thinking I don’t know my heart.

My head has been telling me I don’t know. I don’t have the answers. I’m not — tall enough, smart enough, young enough, educated enough, wise enough. My head has been shutting down my heart, advising it to stop beating so deeply. To just ‘go with the flow’ and let be.

Except, in my mind’s space, letting go and letting be is very different than in my heart-space.

Letting go and letting be in my heart-space comes from a place of wisdom, of compassion, of knowing and Love.

In my mind’s space, it comes from fear. In my mind’s space, letting go is all about denial, ignoring what is, refusing to feel what is possible when I let go of fear.

In my heart space, it’s all about being present. Of being aware of fear’s seductive call driving me to not — do, be, become — all that I dream of — and letting courage draw me into that space where my heart knows that all I dream of is possible when I — do, be, become — all that I dream of.

I have been wandering aimlessly through the ‘fear fog’, letting the past cloud my present and my presence to each  moment.

I felt it last night at dinner when my beautiful friend Kerry Parsons was sharing stories of the Healing Circles she’d held in Elbow Park, one of the areas hit badly by the floods a few weeks ago. We talked about community building, and spaces opening up and how, in the aftermath of such intense connection, people immediately race to fill in the spaces that opened up with what was, rather than what is possible if we just hold the space open.

And then she asked me, “And how are you doing in the aftermath?”

And I felt the space open up.

Ten years ago I awoke to my life with 72 cents in my pockets, a few clothes in a suitcase and my golden retriever Ellie at my side. I had lost everything. I didn’t even own a fork and knife.

There was something very freeing about being ‘without’. Freeing and liberating and terrifying. I remember deciding to rebuild on my terms. To reclaim what worked, and to let go of what didn’t. I have been incredibly blessed. My daughters have forgiven me for the pain I caused them and today, our relationship is stronger and deeper than it ever was in the past.

And, I have been blessed with family and friends who love me. With a man whose heart is true and who sees me through eyes of love. I have a home, work I love, and lots of belongings. In fact, from not owning even a fork and knife, I now have a houseful of stuff!  Some of which I keep working on getting rid of!

But still, my heart has been disquieted by the events of the flood. So many memories of what it feels like to lose everything, especially those things that hold such meaning — like my years and years worth of journals that I kept from the time I was 18. Or the book of poetry I wrote in my 20s. and the mementoes of my daughters’ birth and growing years. Gone.

But more than the stuff, it is the reminder of the pain I caused the two people I love most in the world. I have been stirring those dark and dank places where fear rots the foundation of my peace of mind.

I have been willful.

I have been disruptive to my own sense of grace.

I write this not to get your advice, or to have you tell me I’m okay — I know I’m okay. I write this because I know that acknowledging where the fear fog is clouding my sense of well-being is the only way to move through it. I write this because I know that in breathing into this space and allowing fear to be present, even in my unease, makes space for fear to ease away into that space where I have the courage to create my best life yet, today. Acknowledging where I have been disquieted by the past allows my heart to release fears hold on my present.

I am blessed. I am grateful. I am coming up for air. I am stopping the race away from what I fear and stepping with ease of mind and peaceful heart into this space where I become my own best friend, my greatest ally, my emergent companion.

I am letting go of the fear of what was, and never will be again, to embrace what is and always will be my guiding light, Love.

PS!  Big news. My daughter got a message last night, her building has been approved for habitation. She gets to move back home 2 weeks earlier than expected! Hip! Hip! Hurray!  (though I’ll miss her 🙂 )

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Author: Louise Gallagher

I believe we each have the capacity to be the change we want to see in the world, to make a world of difference. I believe we are creative beings on the journey of our lifetimes. It's up to each of us to Live It Up and SHINE!

16 thoughts on “My guiding light.

  1. Elgie,

    You are OK.

    You’ve always been OK, in or out of the fog.

    Your personal journey from the edge of nothingness with nothing, like your metaphorical dandelion seed – took root, took charge of your life and let it unfold. Sometimes you are at the reigns and sometimes you are riding a runaway driver-less wagon.

    And you are OK.

    This is your journey, not mine. This is your life, not anyone else’s. You are an original carved in relief – and each bit that is taken away has revealed more of what you are, who you are and what you are capable of. Fankl wrote about it, lots, about moving on from loss. When compared to loss of life or liberty loss of what was in a basement is really pretty small.

    Keep on … you are doing fine, you are OK.

    Mark

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  2. Ahh love the way you describe the head and the heart!

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  3. Thanks for sharing. Very moving.

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  4. What a moving post……………………I found myself lost in the post……………thank you

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  5. I love this post so much I shared on my facebook page Heal Now and Forever Be In Peace, (of course with a link back.) It describes this head heart conflict so well and I know can help many people. When we heal ourselves, we heal others, don’t we?

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  6. You have spoken of your awakening that day 10 years ago at the point of having nothing and then fast forward to the point to where you are today. I would love for you one day to tell your whole journey from there to here. Or is that your book in the making? So many people could draw from your strength and positiveness.

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