So often, we let fear, anxiety and doubt control our lives. We let it determine what we do and how we do it. And, as in my case, we let fear, anxiety and doubt completely control us. Define us. It becomes who we are. We try so hard to avoid it....to avoid those initial feelings of uneasiness that start brewing when we are facing whatever might not be in our comfort zone. And we'll do anything to avoid those feelings. We'll do anything to keep the anxiety from erupting and someone finding out our secrets.
So we set boundaries. Make rules. And live by them.
We let fear win.
Ryleigh has been my dream ever since I was a little girl. He became a reality in June, 2010. Little did I know that the fear, anxiety and doubt that I had been hiding within for so many years would find their way into this new journey I was on. Little did I know when I brought him into my life that Ryleigh had been through his share of heartache, too. Tossed around to so many owners from the age of about 4.5 until he met me at age 10. He wasn't well taken care of and even went through some physical abuse.
Our life story was the same.
We were meant for each other.
I've taken pictures of Ryleigh nearly every day that we're together since he came into my life. And I started a blog. It became a way for me to share my journey - my struggles - with my family and friends but over a short amount of time has morphed into a subscriber list and Facebook following that spans across the world. I receive private messages every single day from people telling me, "Wow. Me, too."
You know that old Buck Brannaman quote? "The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you'll like what you see...sometimes you won't." My journey with Ryleigh eventually revealed glimpses of buried secrets from my life...things that I had buried so deep that I didn't remember them....but the outer me - walking through my daily life - showed the world that something was not quite right. But as I dug away at the dirt each day, I'd find a new piece of me.
A piece that screamed "I will not let fear win!"
This is our story. It's the continuing journey of how the horse that nobody wanted began taking his girl through the healing process. Helping me find myself. Helping me get over, get past and find my true self on the other side. It's a story of learning, patience, trust and self-discovery. It began with a dream. It has tested my faith. But I've never given up hope. And that is making me strong.
I believe in us.