The Show Jumper & The Pandemic: An Unlikely Tale Of Change, Loss & Gain.

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Change is a difficult thing for us to get our heads around.

A while back, I worked with a rider who was becoming very successful on the showjumping circuit. She was consistently winning, feeling great, and leading the series that had been on her dream list to win for as long as she could remember.

Then, one day, she stopped going to shows. She just… stayed home. Left the truck parked in the driveway, and sat on the couch, thinking about everyone else out there with their horses.

Naturally, this behavior seemed to make no sense. After all, this was what she wanted right? What was wrong with her?

But as we began work together, and started to pick through, the reasons became more and more clear.

Her friend group- people who were very important to her- had started to treat her differently. Winning had changed the dynamic they were used to and the previous close relationships they had shared became less so.

At least, that’s how it felt.

If winning, then, was the reason for her strained relationships, best she stop doing that quick smart. Or so her unconscious mind told her.

You know, I told her, the thing about comfort zones is that it’s not so much about what we want but what we are used to. Your comfort zone represents what’s most familiar, and change- even if it’s what we want- challenges that. So when we hit the outer edges of our comfort zone, we cycle back down to what’s familiar. That is our homeostasis point, and everything in nature is just trying to preserve homeostasis.

You are just cycling back to what you know.

Our tendency, I continued, is to view change and movement forward- especially if it’s really disruptive to our systems- from the position of loss. In your situation, for instance, you are not viewing winning the showjumping series from a position of gain and advancement; you see it from the position of loss and separation.

If there’s one thing I know about change, is that it’s a filter system. My mantra is this:

Change is a filter and everything that is good comes with me.

If my friendships are really there for the highest interest of everyone, I know they will come with me.

Whatever I know in my experience now, if it is meant to be mine as we continue on, I know it will be there for me on the other side.

It doesn’t mean that it is easy. It doesn’t mean that I won’t do my best to maintain relationships or work to preserve what I have.

This is not a passive process.

But I do know that if I prevent myself from advancing and expanding in favor of staying where I am, then I’ve fallen into the trap of believing it’s possible to be static. That what I have now is the best deal possible for me, and the truth is, we don’t really know that.

Our human tendency is to view change through the lens of loss, especially if that change is something we didn’t initiate or necessarily want. We sit where we are now, we look around and back and think, I don’t want to lose this.

We look forward, and instead of seeing possibility, we see blackness.

So we start grabbing. We hold and snatch and hunker down in the hope that the tighter we hold on, the less chance we have of change taking a hold of us.

But the only thing that does is create stress.

It’s possible, that what lies ahead is better than what we know.

But in order to walk through the invisible wall, we have to let what has come before fall away. And what remains will be what was meant to come with us.

Change- even change that we want- is a process of surrender. It’s a process of faith. It’s a process of trust.

But not of anything outside you. Of yourself.

You have to trust that you will deal with whatever comes up.

You have to keep your face turned towards positive possibility.

You have to be willing to let it burn so you can rise.

But not facing towards what you have lost.

Facing towards what you have and will gain.

And my showjumper? She won the series.

Change is a filter and everything that is good comes with you.



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