Our emotions – they’re there each and every day sometimes out in the forefront and other times lurking in the background. They gnaw at us and grow more intense as we ignore them whether consciously or subconsciously. Emotions can be like warehouses of unlimited energy that can either propel us or bring us to a standstill. If ignored or repressed, they will come back. If medicated and forced in to submission, they will come back. However, if we honor them and how we think of them, emotions can help heal relationships, heal wounds, and move individuals into a new way of being.
It’s difficult for many to sit with the emotions and allow them to be. We’re encouraged by well-intending friends and family to let go of the sadness, be happy, don’t worry – you’ve nothing to be afraid of. They say, “You’ll get over it”. “Have a drink and you’ll feel better” we may hear from a close friend. Depression is held in contempt and judged negatively by much of society and yet, an increasing percentage of the American population is recognized as being depressed at one time or another – some over the long-haul.
Essentially, humans have become masters of trying to dodge what we’re feeling.
Imagine rather than ignoring your emotions you sort them out and use their energies to increase your awareness; awareness about yourself and the patterns of thoughts and behaviors that repeat themselves. Awareness about what’s causing certain emotions and the signs when they are left unresolved? Like a warning system, recognizing body sensations associated with certain emotions. Imagine using your own body’s wisdom to reveal what wants to surface?
Horses can have almost an enigmatic way of allowing us to be in touch with our emotions. They look for us to be honest and real with what we’re feeling – to explore the depths of those feelings. Their behavior offers an indicator of our congruence. As masters of non-verbal communication, horses rely on very subtle queues to communicate with each other and to sense potential threats. Their survival depends up on it. But they also possess a highly developed ability to sense the energy of another being. And since our emotions emit energy, a horse can sense whether we’re being congruent with what we’re saying and actually feeling.
For instance, if a person projects a happy face around a horse without acknowledging the anxiety over that day’s work situation, a horse will respond accordingly because it’s the energy of that anxiety that’s being projected, not the fake smile we plaster across our face. A horse’s response can be very different than with someone who is mindful of their emotions and willing to own up to what they’re feeling without disregard.
A horse helps us heal as we come face-to-face with our fears, our vulnerability, our anger and our desires. They allow us to explore the possibilities of what lies beyond them with new found awareness.
This is the gift of the horse – a gift that has been waiting for us and one which we are in the infancy stages of unwrapping. That is, their ability to provide real-time feedback about our congruence, or lack thereof, and their almost mystical ability to sense what is needed to bring about change. This gift is unfolding before us as we recognize the contribution that these sentient beings offer us.