Have you experienced a moment in time where you knew you were “stuck”? You tried in sundry ways to resolve a conflict(s) in a meaningful relationship, but the more time you gave to bring solution rather than pollution, there wasn’t any “shift” but “stuck” was the painful reality? I’m quite sure we all can relate. At the base of the “stuck” is usually something that you didn’t see coming and it just quite frankly threw you off balance. As horse people, you know what that means! You end up off the back of a horse and on the ground. OUCH! Just came in contact with the reality of how hard the ground actually is!
One of the healing properties that horses bring into human lives is their genuine ability of being ‘forgiving’ and modeling this for us.
The glue that keeps us stuck, more than likely, is unforgiveness. I read a quote from Kimberly Dawn which says, “It takes allot of energy to keep a grudge alive. The longer there is a lack of forgiveness, the more bitterness, anger and self-pity poisons the blood and eats at the heart. Hand it over to God and allow Him to show you the path to forgiveness.” This is where God and horse unite to bring to us pathways to do life with a different attitude. “True forgiveness is not an action after the fact; it is an attitude with which you enter each moment.” (David Ridge) God and horses are notoriously living in the NOW.
Here’s an example. I’m out riding at Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center. Hundreds of acres of trees, deer paths, brush and lakes are the environment which I am totally enjoying with my faithful horse friend. Suddenly I come upon a coven of quail. Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh; three shoot out and up like missiles. My horse is frightened and darts at the surprise. However, instead of staying scared and running back home, out of control, she forgets about the quail and remembers our partnership, our connection. So, instead of being governed by her natural instincts, she comes into the NOW of our relationship.
I’m reminded of the first part of some prose I wrote years ago. ‘I like to get upon a horses’ back, running free in an open field. I feel security that I’d lacked while riding upon my horses’ back; the wind blowing through my hair, my mind without a single care. Loving to live and living to love, searching for answers from God above.’ Upon my horse’s back I got understanding to what love is, what freedom looks like and the value of meaningful questions.
A horse is always going to be a horse. A horse will never be a dog, a human, or something else. We are love. We are made in the image and likeness of God. God is love. If we walk and ride ? in our true image and identity, we are free from offense and unforgiveness. Love has forgiven each of us. When I come into agreement with this amazing forgiveness, I live forgiven and am liberated to forgive. Because, after all, I can only give what I have, right?
Forgiveness doesn’t excuse behavior. Forgiveness prevents behavior from destroying your heart. (The Healing Center) You are not responsible for someone else’s choices and decisions. You are, however, responsible for your own. Forgive those who insult you, attack you, belittle you or take you for granted. And remember, you love your NEIGHbor as yourself; therefore, forgive yourself.
“Pain is the fist that knocks you down. Forgiveness is the hand that helps you back up again.” (Doe Zantamata)
Precious moments are the cupped hand of forgiveness lifting you upon a horse’s back with the instruction to simply ride, smile, and enjoy.
Anyone interested in saddling up a horse and riding on paths of righteousness that illuminates your true (made in the image and likeness of God) self?