Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Mental battles.  Aren't they the greatest?  I recently found myself fighting a big one.  Epic.  It was keeping me up at night and dominating all my quiet moments. 

Long story short, I was completely over-analyzing a situation.  I was deconstructing all of my words and actions, and wondering how people interpreted them.  Did they read things this way?  That way?  Sideways?  I hope they didn't read it that way.  Or *that* way.  Yikes.  What if they did?  I bet they did.  I bet they're angry / hurt / suspicious / disgusted / disappointed.  I bet they think I'm a horrible person. I bet.... the downward, fearful spiral was out of control. 

Do you ever have a memory so vivid you can almost hear it out loud? In the middle of my mental hurricane, I suddenly heard my father's voice:  "If you tell goin' by on a gallopin' horse..."

I was nine years old, helping my Dad finish our basement.  We were working on cutting paneling for the wall at the base of the stairs.  I was as much of a perfectionist then as I am now.  And I was getting really... um... specific... (and frustrated) with this one line in the wall. 

Dad: It's fine. Grandpa used to tell me "If you can't tell goin' by on a gallopin' horse, it doesn't matter."
Me: *pointing out the obvious flaw in his statement* But you couldn't even see this from a galloping horse.
Dad:  Exactly.
Me:  Oh. *insert mental click here* 

Those words brought peace to my storm.  They snapped me out of my fearful spiral and allowed me a moment of clarity to remember that I spoke and acted the way I always would -- from a clean, sincere, loving heart. 
Suddenly all those condemning thoughts were miraculously silenced.
Sometimes details are important.  But sometimes being wrapped up in tiny imperfections is just counterproductive.  And I don't think there's ever a time when it's useful to worry about things I don't know or can't control.   
"If you can't tell goin' by on a gallopin' horse..."
Thanks Dad.  I needed to hear that.


  1. That's great advice from your dad. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Lovely. So perfect for my life right now. Thank you.