I got spanked at the wall today.
And the hardest thing I climbed was a 5.9-
And as I was getting repeatedly shut-down by a gaston on a corner (a gaston, on the corner of my own route; to add insult to injury.) my frustration kind of owned me.
Not only was I getting beat up by the wall, but I was beating myself up mentally as well.
Instead of taking a deep breath and saying "Self, you can do this. Your arms are tired and your fingers sting, but you have this. Chalk up and get some!"
"Self, you suck. Bad."
And then I began to talk myself out of things that I really wanted to do. Like go to Zion for spring break, and fill my Etsy store, and finish my bachelor's.
I began talking myself out of things that were important, things that were good, things that-- all of a sudden-- I didn't feel good enough for.
After venting to Russ and seeing the hurt that beating up on his wife caused him, I took a deep breath, stepped back and, well...I pouted for a while.
As the night went on, I remembered a time in my Canyoneering class (this all makes me sound super outdoorsy, don't get side-tract with that).
(I'm the dot in the middle)
Around the middle of last year, was one of the hardest times of my life. I had just gone through a divorce, and was dealing with the backlash of insecurities that came with it. So, I ran to the wilderness...literally.
I was sitting on the top of Corona Arch just outside of Moab, Utah and as I looked out over the canyon and the swells of the sandstone desert, I was consumed with how non-monumental I was in comparison...and, suddenly, how high up I was. For the first time in my life, I had a panic attack. It was hard to breath, and I couldn't convince myself that I was going to be safe. In complete fear, I looked over to two of my classmates sitting several yards away.
"Tell me I can do this"
"Tell me I am going to be okay"
At the time, I didn't realize I was asking for so much more than the strength to rappel from a great height.
These poor guys, "You're going to be just fine! It's completely safe! You know exactly what you are doing, you're in control and it'll be okay."
I believed them just enough to inch my way over to the anchors (the dot farthest to the right) hook into the bolts and set up my rappel device.
Before I could think anymore about how scared I was, how badly my hands were shaking, how hard it was to breath, and how little I believed in myself, I lowered off the edge of the arch.
As soon as my feet left the rock and I looked above to see the vast, red arch, contrasted against the most vivid, clear-blue sky; I was okay (dangling 100 feet in the air) but totally okay.
The feeling of conquering my fear and being in complete control over how fast or slow my descent was, lifted a heavy weight off of me (or maybe it was the adrenaline, regardless...). I could do this.
The rest of the week felt like a blur of personal accomplishment. It was the happiest I had been in a long time...it was the happiest I had let myself be in a long time.
Even though it took the words of someone else to help get me to let go of my fears and self doubts, I believed them. I made the choice to have enough faith in myself, no matter how brief it was, to do what needed to be done.
All too often I get down on myself for not being 'strong enough'--physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually or otherwise-- and I let my insecurities get the best of me. But what I'm realizing is that there are enough hardships that come my way, without me lending them my own will to use against me.
I am stronger than my self-doubt. I deserve good things. I can do hard things. And, I am so very loved.
(And I'm totally one of those nuts who believes in affirmations- Whatever works, right?)