Yesterday I left the Carriage and Draft Horse Sanctuary, Blue Star, with a beautiful statue of a horse, four t-shirts, a video of Phillip Whiteman’s Medicine Wheel Model to Natural Horsemanship and a day of compliments, praise for my work, a new connection to Pamela, a ton of stories to think about and the experience of having ridden Piper, the giant horse I fell in love with the last time we were there.
So that’s what happened, that’s what knocked me off balance and kept my head spinning and me wondering who and where I was. Too much? No, all good stuff and a lot of it. I’m just not used to it. I felt like Boo Radley coming out of the basement. And it’s not like I’m not used to having my picture posted all over Jon’s website or meeting new people or even getting compliments on my work. But yesterday was a lot. A lot more than I’m used to, I guess. And the thing is, I made this connection, all of this happened, because of my work. Because as important as it is to me, my work is just what I do. It’s special in that it’s my passion and keeps me sane and is a part of me like my brain or my heart, but to Pamela it was so special and meant so much to her (she saw meaning in every part of it) that it seemed too good to be true. And so a part of me wanted to doubt her sincerity and another part of me wanted to believe her and trust what was happening. Because when things are “too good” (especially when it’s focused completely on me) I begin to think that at any moment someone’s going to start laughing and then I’ll find out it’s all a joke. And that someone will say: You look really stupid on that horse and that thing you made is nice, but you don’t really expect me to use that on my website do you? Ha Ha Ha etc. etc….
So I think what happened is there was a battle going on inside of me. It was the trust thing again. (like when Lisa Dingle handed us the trip to Disney from all those nice people who really wanted us to have it). But this time (I guess, because it was about me and my work) grace didn’t step in. And my heart didn’t exactly shrink, but it cowered in the corner, shocked and uncertain.
Which makes me think of one of the many stories that Pamela told me yesterday. This one about how horses have been evolving into what they are now for millions of years. And they’ve survived, not by growing a hard shell but by opening their hearts to humans. By learning to live in partnership with us. Which, of course, requires trust.
So the question is, what will I do with my horse lesson. Crouch in the corner, hide in the basement or take a chance and choose to trust. Actually, I think I already made the decision, that’s part of what happened yesterday. My head may not have understood what was going on, but the rest of me was making the adjustment stretching my legs and opening my arms, expanding my heart, getting ready to believe without cynicism and trust without fear.