You may know this about me, or you can read all about it here and here and here. But this is SERIOUSLY A BIG DEAL!
These pictures represent the culmination of the hardest work I have ever done to change something about myself. This day is on par with the day I got married and the day I gave birth as far as big deal days in my life go. Seriously.
(by the way, I never held him on my own...but I did hold the back half of his body and touched/petted him). I felt and watched his tail (do snakes have tails?) wrap around my finger (that sorta gives me the willies still....) I got up close and took some of these pictures. I checked out the tiny, intricate symmetry of his patterned skin. I watched his body expand and contract with either breaths or heartbeats.
And I continually thanked my therapist for finding the absolute tiniest snake that has ever existed for this exercise.
And I left there feeling on top of the world....I was SO pumped up. I can't stop looking at these pictures. What an amazing life-transforming experience this journey has been for me.
Now, I'm not saying I like snakes. And I will most likely NEVER touch a snake again or get that close again. And if I come across an 8' rattlesnake while hiking in a canyon near my house I will be traumatized.
But I now have the tools, skills, and confidence to live life in a world that is also home to snakes. And if I see a small snake, or even a big snake, I know I can get through it. Before I started working to conquer this phobia, seeing a snake was absolutely NOT EVEN AN OPTION.
And one year ago I would have never in a million years considered even walking in the building if I knew Niles was inside, much less touched and admired him. Wow.