48 hours later and so many things have changed right before my very eyes… All of these illusions, deceptions, frustrations and struggles have all turned into this magical, marvelous path back in time to take a look at my story from a totally new vantage point. To find a little girl, about 5, brown small suitcase clutched tightly under her buttocks as she sits crying all the way around the block on the corner, the one furthest away from home. Sitting there, staring longingly at the opposite side of the street in this attempt to run away, but foiled by the rules of “never cross the street…alone”. Where her mother finds her a little while later asking what she is doing? The little girl wails in total loss, and humiliation “nobody loves me, no one will play with me, they always want to play with dolls, I don’t fit in, I listen, I do what I’m told, I work at playing dolls, I clean, I stayed out of the street, yet my turn to play horses never comes.” The mother comforts the child the best she can “it will all work out”, and they go back home, with the memory etched into the recesses of my mind, for me to finally find… again.
I worked on this memory a few years back when I first found EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and had thought I had cleared it, because I forgot about it. To find in the last few days of outrageous heat (in the shade it was 113 degrees) with no breezes and several horses to ride, which I did very early or very late in the day, yet I couldn’t manage to escape this feeling of being in the hot seat, under a tremendous light. So hot, so miserable, I sought relief in watching movies and large glasses of iced water and limeades. Struggling to get comfortably through to my two touchy, jumpy, horses, way too much work in all of this direct glare, till I found myself, frustrated, tired and sobbing “it’s not fair, I work so hard, and no one wants to play with me”…
Suddenly, like being slapped in the face. I found the nugget of peace I had been so determinedly seeking. This gem of information rocked me to my core. I suddenly saw the trail of relationships with others as the outsider looking in… always working, always cleaning up, fixing for others, doing the impossible, sitting outside of the lime light. With this crazy belief egging me on, that if I “worked, struggled, did whatever I was told”, I would eventually have my turn.
My past attempt to deal with the story was about being different, standing out like a sore thumb and the nobody loves me. There was no memory at that time about no one wanting to play with me. I now see how I have done all of this crazy, insane work of trying to fit in, waiting for things to work out. As my five year old mind took literally “it would all work out”. So work I have, for any and everybody, doing it all to fit in, cleaning up, fixing, repairing, paying for others to help me and even putting others first. All in the crazy belief that when all the work is done…then I can play!
To find myself with a lesson this morning, as I watched her diligently struggle with the newest information I had given her for her toolbox of ways to connect with her mount. As I listened to her berate herself over her inability to use the latest tool the right way. I threw up my hands and told her “enough, I am throwing the whole toolbox and tools idea away”, instead I now want you to look at each idea as a toy, another way for you to play with your horse, toys for your toy box.
The laughter exploded out of her chest, her whole body relaxed, the horse let out a huge sigh of relief. In that moment I saw the glint of gold in my ability to play, have fun, enjoy, pivot, dance, and revel in the joy of allowing myself to be truly paid to play and enjoy life. I have given up working, life is supposed to be fun. All in favor… come on down, the weather is cool, the breeze this evening is fantastic and the shower from the storm that blew the heat away way early Sunday morning has made the ground soft and fluffy as the grass so quickly turned soft, green and vibrant! Life is a dance, find a song and come along, find your own toys and come play!
The last few days have been a delving into bouts of extreme tiredness, giving me a chance to look around and see what might be the cause of this occasional body awareness. Which at one time I just assumed came from being worn out from whatever was going on in my life. But in this learning to be more aware of having the choice of what I observe as to what kind of time I am having, I chose to pay more attention to what the probable cause might truly be. Remembering to take in as many clues as I could during the first sign of fatigue, all the way up until the yawning gave way to a much needed nap. To be amazed at what I uncovered when today’s morning was almost exactly like yesterday’s, minus several small, particularly energy sapping situations.
Yesterday included my bus route, both am and pm. My son getting up, assisting with chores, eating breakfast and then asking for extra money with a five minute pleading session, followed by a yawn. Came home, to set up for the day of riding with equipment, watering, and my usual rotation of animals to ride. As my morning client arrived and started pitching in to get things rolling with the usual catching up with another over the few days between lessons. I addressing the progress with the two horses with feet issues, how the changes have allowed each horse to move easier. How much fun the weekend clients had been in teaching students so thoroughly interested in each answer I gave to their inquiring, curious minds.
Which as the information was exchanged, I felt this tug at my gut as the conversation suddenly turned to the chaotic evening now being explained to me. My entire body had this sensation of total alert; my mind suddenly found trying to race forward for possible solutions as the story was being told. When I realized my mount was uneasy. So I took a breath, excused myself, gave the story teller the option to get out the next horse to keep my timetable on track, and went out to ride. Once again comfortable, at ease, riding, fascinated by the horse staying so tuned into my every move. Enjoying myself as I played with the ease of his movements mimicking mine, when I spotted the student at odds with their mount as all of the actions between the two were tight, rigid and at odds, as a definite battle of the wills was in plain sight.
I rode over to be of assistance with this out of touch duo, giving suggestions, ideas, reminding to breathe, and relax hoping to break the tension. Finally at the thought of helping both rider and horse, I suggested a change to my mount since he is such an easy well finished horse, and as the student swapped from one animal to the next. My horse of long standing patience, reached out to nip my forearm as if to say enough, don’t, arghhh… I jumped as his lips just grazed the skin, aware of the feeling of tiredness almost overwhelming me. To then find myself querying the rider in my head if they knew how much they were rattling the horse and me, as I began intensely focusing on asking them detailed questions about their breathing, attitude, horse’s body language and to please relax. First the frown on their face, then the tightness of their knuckles, then wrists, arms, all the way through till they were wiggling both toes, freely without stirrups.
To finally see the horse take in deep breaths, as the person realized they were trying too hard. As they began to make progress, I could feel exhaustion sweeping over me. I so desired a break, a massage, a chance to piddle, to step away, to find the peace I had experienced earlier. So aware of the huge wave of frustration and fear over now what, to luckily by then find the duo had found a small connection, several steps taken as a pair, enough so that the rider knew the internal struggle was the cause of their disconnect. I became so aware of how easily I have in the past, learned to react trying to fix another’s story of struggle, and how wonderfully my body has learned to show me that I know longer need to do all of this fixing. It’s not my job!
My body is tired of me not living and taking full care of myself…only. I no longer need to allow conversations of angst, struggle, and disarray to affect me. Other than just being a sounding board to reflect back what they have said if they ask for help. They are just stories. They are just excuses from others to feel needy, incapable, helpless and so ineffective at shining their own light, not figuring out they have the power within themselves to be okay. It’s their choice and it’s always my choice to play or pay, depending upon how far down their tale of desperation I choose to go. Funny thing is today, both story tellers, left to their own solutions, came up with much better results by themselves and I had a great day by just stepping away and allowing them to find their own two feet to stand on.