Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Horses Speak on Relationships


The horses showed me an interesting concept this week. I was pondering all the fabulous horses in my life and thinking that I have several “significant relationships” with quite a few horses – and people of course. I asked myself, “how many “significant relationships” can one person have, not feeling overwhelmed but truly wondering? How do you make sense of them all? How do I value them? Do I have enough time and love to share with all of them?

And so I wrote down some numbers on a piece of paper starting with the number “1” and going up from there. Guess what came to me? Of course the number “1”. Hmmm. That’s interesting! And so I wondered: is the one “significant relationship” in one’s life with self? YES.

So then I asked myself: how does one look at/perceive/view all the other relationships?

This is what came to me:

All other relationships are partnerships. So, for example, Diva is a spiritual partner and also a partner in our mission together managing the herd (see below). Smoke is a partner in play and riding and exploring the possibilities in the new things we’re doing. Some of the others like Angie, Spike, Sid, Ulysses are teaching partners. Tegie is my partner in writing and end-of-life process (see my previous blog), and spiritual matters (they all are really at some level – spiritual partners I mean). Then when you look at human partnerships, they can be about play, spirituality, support, companionship, family, financial, work and so on.

But all partnerships – here’s the thing – are a reflection, at some level, in some way, of you.

The other thing is they change as you change. It's inevitable. Resistance is futile! We can’t be afraid to allow them to change. We can't hang on to them in hopes that they will never change. This is scary to us.

On a more uplifting note, the feelings we get within all our relationships (with self and others) are perhaps what living is all about. The experiences, the things we do together are all expressions of us, who we are in that moment. So a question which I find interesting to contemplate is "what do my partnerships reflect about my relationship with my self?" (Note that past partnerships don't have to influence future partnerships if you're worried about repeating "bad" experiences because you are always changing and evolving if you allow yourself to. And, this isn't about being critical either. It's an exercise in observing objectively and is to be approached with compassion.)

I guess to be bold, we could ask “what do I want my partnership(s) to be about?”. These are interesting questions.

Diva showed me that sometimes you don't know what your partnership is going to be about. You are drawn to each other. It all seems "right". I was drawn to Diva because I thought she could really take me places with my riding. Then, she would make someone a lovely hunter pony.

Well, here I am 3 years later. We've been through some stuff! In fact, part of the experience with her has been about letting go of riding altogether, at least in the "old" way. I have had a true awakening in that I've had to examine how I truly feel about a lot of things and confront them and come to terms. Talk about a "New Normal". And now she is my partner in most things spiritual and all things to do with my work with the herds at Liberty Stables. I would never in a million years have seen where this journey was taking me. Talk about a reflection of the changes in my relationship with myself!

Buddy, my beautiful horse for the past 12 years (that's his eye I'm reflected in in the photo above), has been another amazing partnership. He's an example of a long-term partnership evolving. I trail rode with him for years doing "the thing". Then, we started riding less and less. And he started getting crankier and crankier. And an animal communicator told me that our "purpose" together was done. Talk about harsh! But I was feeling that too along with lots of guilt. We were done. He still wanted to be my horse but he was on to another purpose, something with a young girl if possible. I choked that information down. Then, I noticed as Tegie started to deteriorate that he was really looking out for her (I have so many stories to illustrate this). Wow! He's my partner in caring for Tegie!

And so we see a reflection of our relationship to self in external partnerships. At the core of our relationship to self are our fears and our life purpose (or passion or the thing(s) we are here to experience). I sense that the journey is about noticing our fears, expressing ourselves, but also about having fun, being inspired and inspiring others and embracing the courage to feel deeply and honestly and then to respond. What amazing insights, what an amazing journey.

2 comments:

Kirsten said...

Partnerships sure have been changing for me in the last while, and lots of times I don't know if I'm coming or going.
Sometimes I wonder if anyone else feels as deeply as I do. Many of my 'human partners' don't seem to want to spend the time to listen and let me express myself when I feel deeply and need to share. What does that say about my relationship with myself?

Kolina said...

Amazing post Cathy, Gave us all a lot to think about. Thank you!

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