This post is only slightly horse related but important to me just the same.
Some of you know, or may not know, that I am an extremely grateful recovering addict. Which means that at one time my life was over run by chaos and instability. Because of that it is easy for me to get caught up in my own self made emotional chaos. It is easy for me to get too many things going on at once, it is easy for me to lose sight of what is important. It took years of working a solid 12 step program to change how my brain works, to change what normal looks like to me. Today normal is healthy rather than unhealthy. I mean emotionally much more than physically. It also takes constant maintenance to keep any semblance of that emotional stability I so crave.
Oddly enough when I feel myself getting out of control, which I have lately, it is such an odd feeling. It is familiar yet foreign, comfortable yet unsettling. I don't know if that makes sense or not. My brain says, "I recognize this emotional state, but I want no part of it, it scares me. "
My heart then tells me to "Be Still".
But what does that mean really? Is it prayer? Yes. Is it meditation? Yes that too. But it is so much more than that. It means stopping all decision making, and all action and taking time to let my mind let go and be still. It means I have to stop the second guessing of every thought I have. It means I have to let go of my own reins and give them back to God where they belong. I have to ask for guidance while verbalizing my gratitude for every little thing in life. It means I have to let go of the silly petty little things that frustrate me. It means I have to remind myself that I don't always get my way and it is okay. It means that I have to accept that if "this" isn't working, then God has something else in mind and I need to just be patient and wait to see what the right answer is. I have to let go of instant gratification and step back and try to see the bigger picture. Trust me, it sounds a lot easier than it is. Especially for someone like me. Yet through practice, I seem to be getting better at it.
So how does this apply to my relationship with my horses? Well, if I think about it, and trust me I have lately, it applies in many ways. For example, the last time I rode Trax we didn't do well together. I was trying to do too many things, trying to force the issue. I was all over the place with my thoughts and there for so was he. When I finally slowed down my brain and focused on one thing, it started to come together for both of us. I had to be still in my thoughts and my actions. Once I was, we were able to connect and things went much better. Another way it applies is with my decisions for the bigger picture. Yes I want to compete with Trax. Yes I want to show with Sassy. Yes I would like to do more with Killian. Those are my goals and they are good goals, but they aren't going to happen this week or next, or maybe even this year. I have got to slow down, and take my time. I can feel myself jumping all over the place with each horse, and I have to stop. I have to be still and let things come as they are supposed to. If I don't, I will fail with all of them, and in turn fail them as the "herd leader".
This is a daily struggle for me, to keep my mind on track, to not second guess my decisions, to just remember to breathe and let God stay in control. I am such a control freak sometimes, and I try so hard not to be. I always feel like if I can just do this or that, I can make things go the way I want. But that isn't how life works. Its like the farrier issue this week. I was so frustrated that I couldn't get a call back, I tried calling again, I tried calling other farriers, I was doing all I could to manipulate the situation to get the outcome I desired. Yesterday morning I recognized "that feeling" described above, and was able to stop myself. I was able to pray and ask for guidance and it came to me within minutes.
Today I awoke with a feeling of gratitude, peace and serenity, something I haven't had in weeks. It is important, for with out gratitude and serenity I have no spirituality. With out spirituality I will spiral downward to an abyss of emotional chaos which would surely swallow me whole.
Today I say my prayer of thanks.
Thank you for all I have.
Thank you for who I am.
Thank you for letting me "be".