In Lord of the Rings, when Froto is dying, Aragorn tells Arwen to stay with the hobbits while he takes Froto to get help.  Arwen, knowing better, says, “NO, I am the faster rider, I’ll take him”.  Aragorn tells her the road is too dangerous.  Clearly Arwen has no fear… she is a woman who believes in herself and does not doubt.  Aragorn knows she is right… even in his masculine strength, he does not let ego get the best of him.  He takes his “princess” by the hand and says, “ARWEN, RIDE HARD, AND DON’T LOOK BACK!” 

I feel like this is what God said to me when he sent me to earth.  “Jackie, ride hard, and don’t look back”. 

I used to believe that in order to do this I had to be a bad ass.  I thought not looking back meant not feeling.  I thought in order to make it on this mission called life, I had to be strong, impenetrable, without cracks, no tears, no pausing to feel, just full speed ahead like a force not to be reckoned with. 

I’m coming to develop a different understanding of  “Ride hard and don’t look back”. 

Let’s start with Eve… actually, no, lets start with Adam, I mean, after all, he was created first.  Adam was the first human on earth, there was nothing between him and God.  He lived in a world that was perfect and extremely beautiful.  The beauty on the earth, you will notice, is simply to be enjoyed… it’s not functional or for a purpose.  It is a massive sign to us that beauty is important to God and one of the ways He shows us He loves us.  Here was Adam on this perfect earth, and God decided it was not good.  What?  Not good?  Wow!  So man should not be without woman?  Why? … because there has to be balance in all perfectly functioning things?  Yin and Yang, Light and Darkness, Hero’s and Princesses, hard and soft, masculine and feminine? 

God decided to take a rib from man and create woman.  What could this mean symbolically?  Well, it could be God creating a crack, or an opening, in what was whole, to make space for man to allow woman in, for without woman, man is incomplete.  Just like Gods creations were incomplete.  Women are the crowning creation…  God’s FINAL creation. 

Often we hear that man was created in God’s image, and perhaps women wonder where, then, do they fit in?  Well… I believe women, too, are created in His image.  Look how important beauty is to God… and to women.  Beauty is the essence of God, and women are the essence of beauty.  Why do you think satan works so hard to defile and cheapen women … so much so that their silhouettes are placed on men’s mud flaps.

I believe what God said to me in his message, to ride hard and never look back, was Him asking me to keep my eyes focused on Him, so I could know my worth and feel His love for me, to ride faster than the distractions and lies in my path, placed there by the adversary, only to cause fear, paralyze me, and try to make me crash.  Any good rider knows that if you spend one half a second too long, in a state of fear, you will crash.  If you look down, you will crash,… if you focus on fellow riders, you will crash, …. If you allow lies or thoughts of smallness into your mind, you will crash,…. And most definitely, if you look back… a crash is inevitable.

So how do you ride hard without looking back, all while being soft, vulnerable, and feminine?  How do you keep your eyes forward and not dwell on the past without living in denial?  How do you heal stuck trauma in the body without turning back?

You soften your shoulders down away from your ears, you relax your forehead and your jaw, you follow your breath down into your body, noticing what you feel in your physical frame, and you stay present in your body. 

When anxiety and panic arise, you stay with yourself, (don’t you dare leave that little girl alone… you stay with her) willing to feel. 

If you look down or focus only on what is immediately in front of you…. YOU WILL CRASH.  When you ride, you have to keep your focus way out ahead.  You look where you want to go.  If you focus on the edge of the cliff, you will ride off the edge of the cliff.  If you focus on the road directly in front of you, rather than at the end of the turn, you will crash at exactly the spot you stayed focused.  If your get into a tight turn and you start to wobble… and then you look down… you are toast… that is the most important time to look out ahead at where you are going and be present enough to pull through the turn.  You ride hard, and you do not look back. 

That does not mean you don’t pause to feel.  Sometimes you have to cry in your helmet, sometimes you have to pull over, and sometimes you have to park the bike and rest, but you don’t look back. 

Have you ever walked into IKEA and wondered how to get out of there?  Have you ever wanted to turn around and leave but you can’t find the entrance?  You then realize the only way out is to walk ALL THE WAY THROUGH?  Panicking and having a full-blown anxiety attack or refusing to go forward, in the middle of the store, will do you no good… you will forever be stuck in that maze.  You start to realize that life was good before you stepped foot into that bloody place… almost like you were better off being free and what you saw inside wasn’t worth the trip… ignorance was bliss! 

Well, that’s how I see life… this journey of self… this discovery that happens line upon line and precept upon precept… it only comes from a willingness to feel, AND, to stay present in your physical body, riding all the way through… that means feeling hard things and not abandoning yourself with your favorite check out.  This only works, however, when we truly love ourselves, and see the beautiful daughter of God that resides inside each one of us.  We are all uniquely different and so beautiful.  God doesn’t screw up in the beauty department. We have to learn to see our own beauty and love ourselves.  We can’t count on others to see that for us and somehow convince us of what they see.  We have to make this part of our journey our number one priority…. Recognizing the beauty God created when He created YOU!

On this Mother’s Day weekend, I feel passionate to share my beliefs and impressions about the magnificence of who women really are and their glorious purpose and mission as part of God’s perfect plan.   This plan fails without us ladies.  Men had the chance to do it alone and it was not good.  It is time for women to unveil their faces, stop playing small, love themselves fiercely, to use their voices and with their beauty, wisdom, strength, and nurturing abilities, to “RIDE HARD AND NEVER LOOK BACK”.