The sum of my years is divided into three distinctively different lives. My childhood was a kaleidoscope of two people who didn’t know how to love each other. As a result, I grew up not knowing how to love, or what love really meant.
My life with my first husband was one of confusion and weakness. I didn’t understand how everything could be better if I would only take control of my life, be responsible for it and believe in myself. Everything changed when I finally did.
In the third part of my life, the best part, I found a strength I didn’t know I had. I discovered a self-respect that emerged when I released my past and started living in the present without fear.
Mark helped me to do that, but I realize now that when he came into my life I had already started taking control and so I was able to let him into my life. I’m no longer that little fat girl who grew up to have an obsession about her body. It took persistence and time, and even though I still have bumps, I keep riding through them.
About 15 years ago I took up riding again. It was something I had loved in my childhood, but it was also a big challenge. Training with a horse takes a lot of time, discipline and hard work. You learn to keep trying even when you’re having a bad day, and you learn to hang on tight with your legs when the horse is giving you trouble. And, if you fall off, the old saying is true. You have to get right back on again.
It’s easy to give up when things get tough. The hard part is sticking with it to the end. Looking back at it all, I realize that I rode through the difficult parts of my life, stayed on and didn’t let them get the best of me.
When we let go of what other people expect from us and learn to love who we are, then we can live without fear and can make the needed changes in our lives. I didn’t do it alone, and you don’t have to either. But the key is to surround yourself with people who love you for who you are. For those of you out there in life’s saddle, hanging on for dear life, just keep riding through it.