Finding Freedom

*Continuance of “My Story” starting with Blog #1: When your life flashes before your eyes in a flood gate of memories…

During Step 2, the Pathogen Purge, days were long and hard.  They were literally hit and miss with no rhyme or reason as to WHY I felt good, really good, bad, or really bad.  However, throughout the entire GTin5 Program I can honestly say that I was beginning to feel better daily, better than I ever had in the two years prior to starting this program.

I was disciplined and determined, knowing what I had to accomplish and do in order to improve my health.  I stayed focused on this.  It was hard for many reasons, one being that I didn’t have the time or energy to do extra fun activities.  Opportunities came up from friends to get together for the weekend, which I chose to say, “Thanks, but that just isn’t going to work.”  Events were declined.  Gatherings for holidays came up, which ALWAYS revolved around food, that I easily backed out of at that season of life by simply saying, “I’m sorry but I can’t.”  I gave up activities I loved to do because I didn’t have extra energy to do them.  One example was hunting.  I had been duck hunting since I was eleven years old.  I had hunted for eleven years, which was half of my life.

I choose to give up all hunting, deer, turkey, and duck the Fall of 2015, for three main reasons.  The first reason was the most important, the deer ate Genetically Modified Grains in local farm fields where I’d hunted on property in close proximity to.  Crops of corn, wheat, and soy beans are grown in the Midwest United States in large production, but where I live it surrounds us and is everywhere.  I wasn’t going to eat meat that was contaminated by GMOs.  Also, there were chemicals sprayed on weeds in the fields the deer grazed which also contaminates the meat.  As for waterfowl, they were exposed to these GMO’s and chemicals though watersheds in the area whether they grew here or came in from elsewhere(no idea what they’d been eating).

The second reason I gave up hunting was that I wasn’t going to shoot an animal that I wasn’t going to eat.  I believe there is no reason to shoot an animal just for “the thrill.”  That belief was based on a respect for myself and for the animal.

To those that may think that “wild game is the cleanest meat” or “wild game is organic”, I have a news flash.  Just because wild game is “wild” doesn’t mean that it is organic.  GMOs are NOT organic.  Hence, if wild game are eating GMO crops, wild game is not organic, nor is it “clean meat”, but contaminated meat.  I’m not here to argue.  I’m just stating what I’ve learned and have come to believe.  We each are entitled to our own opinion.

“Burning down other people’s opinions doesn’t make us right, it makes us arsonists.” -B.G.

The third reason for laying my gun down and stepping back from hunting played the least role in matter of importance.  I didn’t have the energy.  On days that I worked(doing massage) I exerted extra energy.  My energy reserves were depleted, which made sleep very important for me.  I couldn’t afford to loose precious sleep, therefore no more lost hours getting up early to go hunting.

Giving up hunting was easy, but yet it wasn’t because of one big factor; My dad.  My dad taught me how to duck hunt.  He’d sat with me through my Firearm Safety Course, was the one whom first taught me the basics of how to hold and shoot a gun, and later how to hold and shoot a bow and arrow(which came in handy when I started deer hunting in my late teen years).  In addition, Dad taught me safety for myself and those around me when hunting.dad

My dad grew up hunting.  Hunting is precious to him because HE grew up duck hunting with HIS dad.  Dad loved to hunt… and gave me the opportunity to learn to hunt, too, if I choose.  It was my choice, kind of.  That being said, if I wanted to go hunting that meant I had to get up really early in the morning.

Dad, my brother(Troy), and I would arrive at a slough or field early in the morning, unload all our gear and set up all the decoys, get tucked into the weeds or hunting blind all before the sun would rise.  Shortly after sunrise we could legally shoot.  If we were going hunting in a slough, this meant all of us would have to wear waterproof waders.  Wearing waders made it possible to trudge through thick muck in order to get to our destination.  At times the muck would be up to our knees.  One time in my early years, Dad had to come and lift me out of the muck because I was stuck, unable to move or lift my muck-thickened boots!  It was always a tough walk through muck to shoot ducks!  Duck hunting exerted a lot of energy.

I have a lot of special hunting memories made with my guys growing up.  To give up hunting meant giving up time spent with them.  The three of us hunted together virtually every weekend during duck season in the fall.  It wasn’t easy to tell them, “I’m not going to hunt anymore.”  Furthermore, “I can’t.  This is a decision that I’m making for myself and my health.  I hope that you each can respect this decision.  It has nothing to do with either of you.  I love you both.”  And then I explained myself more, in depth.

“I respect your decision, Kelly.  I’m sure going to miss my hunting partner though.  What am I going to do without you?” Troy had told me.

“You do what you need to do, Kelly.  If you change your mind, you’re always welcome to join us.” Dad had said.  I knew it was going to be hard for Dad to understand that I was giving up hunting, forever.  He, like myself, loves nature and wildlife.  Hunting was a time my dad and I shared together watching beautiful birds fly around us and land in the decoys.  Instead of shooting them, at times we would sit in awestruck wonder, enamored by their simple elegant beauty and gracefulness in flight.  My choosing to not hunt wasn’t easy for him to accept.  It felt like a death for him, I’m sure.  Who ever said change is easy?  It’s not.

Life isn’t always easy, or comfortable!  Sometimes life is uncomfortable, stressful, and frustrating!  We have our need-to-do list, want-to-do list, and our general go-to to-do list, making us pressed for time.  Seems there’s never enough time.  We have deadlines to make, meetings to attend, and are on time frames due to our hectic schedules.  We are stressed, and our bodies are stressed due to our hectic lives!

Our lives have the ability to become so hectic that when we are introduced to something new, how do we react?  For example, when we try a new food, meet a stranger who turns into a friend, walk into a room with two people arguing or making out, a devastating or life changing event occurs, or we move to a new area.  ALL of these new changes can be hard, uncomfortable, new, frightening, or exciting!  Our reaction to any changes are life absorbing.

We can choose to “embrace” change in our lives or we can choose to reject change.  Rejection, often times, will only leave us bitter and unhappy.  Choosing to reject, in many circumstances, means we aren’t being open to change in our life.  It means we are running away from our problems and fears instead of engaging and embracing them.

Giving up hunting didn’t just affect my life, it affected the lives of those around me too.  But I can honestly can say that giving up hunting was a great decision for me.  How each individual chose to let my choice of giving up hunting affect them was their choice, just like it was my choice to give it up.  Laying my gun down opened up new opportunities for healing in my life.

Throughout the GTin5 program and my past five years, I learned that I needed to embrace change.  Until the age of eighteen, for the most part, I had rejected change.  I liked my “comfortable” life.  I didn’t want any new, drastic, uncomfortable changes. Bottom line was, I was afraid of change.

I grew up with relatives who had these same traits.  I don’t think this was a genetic trait, but a learned trait being passed down from generation to generation.  I learned from these relatives to not be open to, or accepting of change.  When a new change or opportunity had come into my life, I chose to reject it just like I saw them doing.  They, too, were scared of change!  People can blame it on “genetics” saying this trait was in my blood.  However, I say it is a CHOICE.  I didn’t have to follow their choices, letting it take control of my life.  I no longer was living in my fears, in the past, or letting choices I made in the past define me and my life.  When this change happened, I started taking big strides in my personal growth.

Life is precious and should be lived to its fullest.  I had been holding myself back all of these years of growing up by not being willing to be REAL and transparent with people. My life from being sick to being well again, was continually changing for the better.  And with that my life got harder, too.

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