A few days ago, my horse Chip, was having new shoes applied. The farrier comes to the farm every 5 weeks to reset his shoes. So, it’s not a big deal, but it is a very important deal. The horse’s foot supports, in Chips case 1200 pounds. They are huge animals that cannot survive without all four feet on the ground, hence the need to put most horses down once they have broken or severely injured leg. Luckily, Chip refused to exit the barn to go for a ride later that day. Chip is a very obliging horse that loves to ride, so I immediately began looking for something wrong. Sure enough, his foot was burning up. A misplaced nail had created irritation to the hoof wall, which would surely abscess, if not immediately addressed. This happened to Chip once before and it took us two months to resolve his abscess. Every day I’d wonder if his other three feet could continue to support him. Luckily, this time we caught it quickly and acted decisively allowing the inflammation to be reduced and hopefully heading off a potentially life threatening infection.
In Native American culture your horse represents your life. They are the vehicles the natives used to be mobile, they were revered, and life without a horse was harder. So my question to you (and to myself) is, “What do you do when you have a threatening situation that comes to your life through no fault of your own?” Perhaps it is an accident or perhaps someone else has caused you pain or hurt you financially. What is your immediate response? Do you collapse into victim-hood? Do you become paralyzed with fear? Or, do you react immediately to become proactive and manage the occurrence?
There is an expression “no one is innocent.” This expression means that we all have some level of self- responsibility in any situation involving us. Unfortunately, that self-responsibility may only lie in our response to the occurrence. Our response is our opportunity to react to whatever situation is at hand and have some level of power.
I invite you to sit quietly and look at the areas in your life where you feel or have felt that you have had no control and ask yourself; “How did I handle this?” Did your response help your outcome, the situation, and the people involved? Or, did your response create more hardship or chaos in your life? Please do not judge yourself. The great thing about our human responses is they can be changed, enhanced, and improved again and again. This is personal growth.
Acting decisively, with conscious thought, empowers you to do the best you can even under the most difficult circumstances. My horse, who I believe represents my life, shows me powerful lessons everyday, as do my dogs, my garden, my family and my friends. Consider your world to be a great big mirror reflecting back to you opportunities to learn, grow, and become more of who you were meant to be. As you walk through life’s lessons know you are meant to be big, be happy, be grateful, and perhaps most importantly be loved!
Finally, always remember that life, no matter what it is currently reflecting back to you, is very, very good.
God Bless & Go Well
For more than two decades, Dr. Kathleen A. Hartford has treated and nurtured thousands of individuals through her integrated wellness approaches. As patients reclaim their health, she coaches them on how to maintain their youthful vitality with practical guidance on nutrition, exercise and stress management. Read more...
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