I was listening to my lovely and rather fabulous friend Kate Sandel the other day in a conversation that she was having about separation anxiety. She mentioned something that really struck me, which was the willingness to confront the reality of the situation without embarrassment or shame; so in this instance, being able to recognize what truly was going on with your horse without judging either you or them harshly.
I really appreciated the pairing of these two things together- reality without embarrassment- because in my experience, this is exactly what gets in the way of us being able to acknowledge the truth of where either ourselves or our horses are at; physically, mentally and emotionally. Many of us only want to look squarely at reality when it is pleasing to us. When it fits the rules of how we want things to be, or when the outer circumstances create a feeling state or sensation in the body that we have attached a positive label to. Happiness, joy, love, contentment, etc etc.
When this isn’t the case- when the reality of our situation challenges us in some way- we choose to look away, slightly to the side, or pretend it’s not there at all. The irony of this being that in our choosing to not “see” what is truly there, it can never transform. Our lack of a willingness to see is what keeps us stuck.
In the parasympathetic system, our nervous system responds to the reality of the moment by creating a whole new pattern, a whole new response to life that our body has never lived before. After all, the present moment is a moment we have never lived and thus, if we are truly responding to reality, our response is one we have also never seen.
In the sympathetic system, we are reflexive. That response might be appropriate if our circumstances call for it. But if we are operating on a loop that has little to do with what is happening now and everything to do with what is happening in the past, then we are no longer seeing nor experiencing reality. The experience of shame and embarrassment of what is takes us on that loop.
The reality is now. It may not be the same in five seconds, five minutes, five days or five months. But any and all transformation begins with accepting reality as the present moment expression of truth for what is currently being experienced.
And that’s never something to be ashamed or embarrassed about.