Recently I made a major decision to move my horse to another barn.
The process of deliberation did include “What if?” but it was more in terms of “I don’t want to be looking back 10 years from now and asking ‘What if?'”
This actually made the decision a lot easier. Who wants to live with regret at an opportunity lost? Certainly not I. I know what that’s like and it’s taken some time for me to let go of that negative way of being.
At this stage of my life making mindful decisions is more important than ever.
Being mindful of my horse’s needs as well as my own was an important part of the decision process. His physical and emotional care are paramount. He’s been well cared for where he is and I have no dispute with it.
But, after nearly eight years for him and 13 years for me of being in the same place, it’s time for a change. Time to see life differently. Time for new perspectives and input and friends.
I am really happy with my choice to move Bear to this new farm. He will be well cared for and I will be one step closer to my dressage dreams. Our world will expand in wonderful ways and I’m really looking forward to it.
I am certain that 10 years from now I will not be looking back and asking “What if?”
Oh brother, another sad post about lost relationships. This time a dying friendship.
I guess, as I go through this transitional phase of my life, this is bound to happen.
Still, I remember the good times and the fun we had. The sad times and how we were there for one another. But there has been a shift, and we both know it. Now we are like ships that pass in the night. Polite but non-committal.
Reminds me of the saying about friends coming into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
As I move into a new phase of my life I look forward to meeting new people and, perhaps, making new friends.
This highly-charged prompt brought the word “father” to mind.
Two fathers, actually. My Heavenly Father, with whom I have a good relationship and who has no need to write me such a letter.
And my Earthly father, who is a completely different story.
I do not wish to disparage him. Certainly, he had trials enough growing up that scarred his life. Still, as Iyanla Vanzant (@IyanlaVanzant) tweeted last evening … “Parents are people with hurts, wounds and stories – still children have the right to expect parents to be present.”
He was not present. Not in mind, body or spirit and, in fact, he declared during a phone call when I was 16 that if anyone was going to be hurt in this relationship it wasn’t going to be him.
So, is it possible that such a man, an intelligent one at that and a good writer, would ever know or understand my heart enough to know what to say in such a letter?
I doubt it.
And I have accepted it.
Our life paths have taken far different routes. He makes no effort to be in touch with me and I have no need to be in touch with someone who willfully hurts me.
Not all relationships are meant to be.
Conversely, I have always felt a strong connection to my Father in Heaven. He is the one, in the midst of life’s storms, who tells me everything will be alright. He is the one who wants only the best for me. He is the one who surrounds me with love and shows me my potential.
As adrenal fatigue storms inside me my experience of life is small.
Socializing is not part of my matrix at the moment, and as the party month proceeds, I am confined to a few moments of jollity among friends separated by days of healing isolation. I must measure every encounter. Leave buffer zones between events. Learn to be my own best friend; to take care of myself appropriately as this lengthy storm passes through.
The storms bluster manifests within 12 hours of any over-stimulating event. Doesn’t matter if it’s fun or stressful. To my body it’s all the same. It must surge. Headaches, nausea, vomiting on and off for 12 hours batter this boat, my system expelling stress it cannot hold.
There is light on the horizon. I can see it. But for now, I must surrender to the healing storm, batten down the hatches, and hang on until it passes.
(This image is so full of meaning for me I hardly know where to begin.)
There are no coincidences. This is something in which I have firmly believed for some time. For good, or ill, life gives us what we need to learn and develop as spiritual beings in a mortal experience. It also makes available the tools we need to negotiate each challenge. It is up to us to be open of mind and heart so we can recognize them when they appear.
Here’s an example from my own life.
As all who follow this blog will know I have a horse whose registered name is “Shakespeare.” This is a beautiful and meaningful name in its own way, however it’s a bit cumbersome as an every day name at the barn.
So, while I was waiting for him to come home for the first time nearly eight years ago, I spent a bit of time noodling over what name I could give him that would evoke his larger than life personality, cuddly nature and solid physical form.
The name “Bear” came to mind fairly quickly. My home is populated with several collectible bears, and “Bear” includes a letter formulation of “ShakespEARe.” On the surface it made perfect sense, so I soon decided this was going to be his barn name.
Still, I had no idea of the deeper meaning to be held here.
During my trauma-filled childhood I comforted myself with stuffed bears. I’ve always had them around me. I guess they are, and always have been, a totem of some kind.
A couple of months after Bear came home and while I was studying natural horsemanship, I was introduced to the idea of the bear’s spiritual meaning. When I considered the trajectory of my life and the healing that was already in progress, things began to make sense.
The bear has several meanings that will inspire those who have this animal as totem:
The primary meaning of the bear spirit animal is strength and confidence
Standing against adversity; taking action and leadership
The spirit of the the bear indicates it’s time for healing or using healing abilities to help self or others
The bear medicine emphasizes the importance of solitude, quiet time, rest
The spirit of the bear provides strong grounding forces
Let’s look at the list again and how it relates to my experience.
The advent of my horse, Bear, acknowledged a significant time of healing in my life (no. 3). A time where I’ve had to go to ground (no. 5) and practice solitude and get rest (no. 4). Doing this has brought a greater sense of self-awareness and helped me to reclaim my life. Mr. Bear, as he is often called, has helped me to find the strength I need (no. 1) to smile in the face of adversity (no. 2) as I take action to manage, and heal from, the traumas released by therapy. And he’s helped me to find the confidence (no. 1) I need to move into a new and exciting phase of personal growth.
Bear is an incredible catalyst for positive change. I throw my arms around his neck and thank him every day for the beautiful healing role he plays in my life.
Is it a coincidence my beautiful dream-come-true should attract a name that represents healing on so many levels? I think not.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, our passion ~ whether it’s golf, sailing, horses, knitting, music or whatever ~ is our teacher. At a deeper level it speaks a language that touches our hearts and can heal us. All we need to do is choose to listen and respond in ways that lift us up, not tear us, or our passion, down.
My teacher, my catalyst for positive change is my horse ~ my Spirit Bear.
I am blessed.
This is my response to this week’s free writing challenge with Kellie Elmore. Slightly off the beaten track, but I don’t question these things in a free writing format. 😉