11 Aug Finding Balance
Around the age of 12, I lifted my hands from the handlebars of my bike for the first time and rode down the street behind my friends who also rode with “no hands”. It was quite the accomplishment at that time. We rode everywhere on our bikes — to friends’ houses, the pond, the pool, the creek, to our forts in the woods, to the convenience store on the corner. Bike riding was no big deal. We had been riding bikes for years, but during the summer of 1987, as I lifted my hands into the air, I felt a newness. I felt confident, brave and free. It felt like victory!
The idea of letting go can be scary. Letting go of control, letting go of expectations, letting go of what we imagined life should be. Letting go of unhealthy habits and things we are not happy with, even though they are familiar. There is a balance to holding on and knowing when to let go. A way to overcome the fear is to trust. In order to trust, you first must identify the fear. What are you afraid will happen? This will lead to problem-solving, and finding solutions, learning skills, taking courses, getting involved with support groups or therapy. Confidence will build as you learn and that is when you can trust yourself enough to let go. You then know you will be ok because you have the skills it takes to get through.
The first step in riding a bike is learning to balance on two wheels, then feet on the pedals to move forward and finally steering to go in the right direction. One must be cautious of surroundings when bike riding, be mindful of those around, oncoming traffic and choppy terrain. When you trust your ability to ride a bike you know you will be able to navigate through anything unforeseen. You can trust your skills. It feels safe knowing you have this power. Then somewhere along the way, you become really confident and begin to lift a hand off and see what it is like to steer and balance one handed, then when you have mastered that step you eventually build up the courage to take both hands off the handlebars. Letting go is only safe because you believe in your abilities. You trust yourself. You know you are going to be ok because you can always put your hands back down and start steering again. And with that comes confidence, peace, freedom and victory.
What do you need to let go of today?
AnnMarie Lehrer, APC, is an Associate Counselor at CHRIS Counseling Center DeKalb. To schedule an appointment, please reach out to intakeccdekalb@CHRIS180.org.