Louise Thayer looks back on her life choices to understand what it means to be free.
FREEDOM. 1. : the quality or state of being free:
as. a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.
b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence.
— Merriam-Webster › dictionary › freedom
Fear.The edges of your containmentblur as you spread,winding worm-likethrough my veins,inciting riotous capillariesto spark andflush.Tiny blooms blossomwith grotesque growths.Fireworks are loosedto fizz away,underminingmy skin.I contain the forceof a thousand tiny blastsby imploding,and damage only myself.
Realizing how disconnected I was from the whole of life was only possible once I learned to reconnect with myself. I practiced my new art form in the safe microcosm that is my world, when my world is just me and a horse.
I wanted to take my fledgling skills and reach out to people, to ask them what they really cared about or if they ever hoped to make a difference in somebody’s life, but it was so hard to do. I hadn’t practiced occupying the present within the constructs of human relationship before. I found that my faltering attempts to better express myself not only fell on many closed ears, but also seemed to stir up a primal pain in others that I hadn’t anticipated.
Those things about my past that I hadn’t ever wanted to think about again; the sometimes soul-wrenching shame of piss-poor conduct on the relationship battlefield just kept on coming, like a self-perpetuating barrage to my psyche.
I think at that point it was all-or-nothing warfare against myself. In the end, I had to choose to practice kindness instead because there was virtually nothing left to lose. The invisible shrapnel was doing its damage daily and had to be melted away with compassion, not torn through the half-healed wounds on its exit trajectory.