Forward with Forgiveness


A quick post, off the top of my head, as a thought occurred to me today in the middle of my coaching session.

Bear’s had a quiet week. I wasn’t well for a couple of days so he got to enjoy life as a muddy pasture ornament with his buddy, Sam. Didn’t need to answer about anything. Just got to be a horse. Which is fine.

Today I was back in the saddle after an episode of adrenal fatigue on Tuesday, and feeling my way into the work again. Curled up in a ball, as I was, in my recliner in the living room for a day or so, it was a challenge to get the old body to open back up.

Of course, horses demand that we be open. If we close down, they close down. It’s really simple body language.

At any rate, it took me a little longer to get in the groove today and Bear, feeling his outdoor privilege and, likely, rather bummed at having to work again, was being particularly ornery. Or perhaps, and rather more likely, he was simply taking advantage of me.

As well, since getting home from our 18-day trip it’s been a challenge to get back into the great work ethic we had going before I left. Everything we had before is there, it’s just taking longer to find it, and Bear isn’t giving anything away for free.

At one point during canter work he had a hissy fit, unexpectedly leaping to the left in response to nothing in particular. I corrected the situation and got him going again, but felt he was being rather mischievous and unforgiving.

I happened to mention this to Coach.

He said, “Bear’s a warmblood. They’re notorious for not wanting to go forward and will find excuses to give you a hard time about it.”

Coach helped me manage my way through this hiccup. I worked at opening my position to invite Bear to move forward more fluidly. Things were starting to go well again.

And then it hit me …

I had accused my horse of being unforgiving when, in fact, that finger was pointing right back at me. Not about forgiving Bear, or anything like that. Forgiving people. People in my life who have unwittingly put stumbling blocks in my path that prevent me from going forward. But it’s not the stumbling blocks that are preventing me from going forward anymore. It’s my own lack of forgiveness for the people who put them there in the first place.

I have been in my own way. Bear telling me to get out of his way was a way of letting me know how much of an obstacle I present to myself and my ability to move forward with my own life.

On the surface I’m all “oh, that doesn’t bother me anymore.” But down deep, I can feel it, niggling. And every once in a while I’ll feel or say something that stokes those damning fires of resentment, which in turn blocks my path forward to the better way of being I have for so long strived.

That light bulb moment on the back of my horse was a revelation. Not only was I seeing with my mind the incredible boob I’d been recently harbouring all that resentment, but on the flip side of that my body was releasing the negative tension attached to it. This was allowing Bear to open up his stride and really swing through his body into a lovely forward canter.

To some this might sound farfetched, but to me it’s terribly real. It has lead me to the conclusion that as long as we carry resentment, jealousy and hurt feelings with us on our journey we are in danger of not being able to move forward toward our goals and dreams as we’d like.

The fact that certain people in my life have hurt me has not changed. What has changed is my perception of their deeds and my willingness to move on from the pain of it. To go forward in self-awareness along my healing path with a forgiving heart is what matters now.

And I have my horse to thank for that.

Thank you, Bear …

Nurture what you love …

Dorothy 🙂
Horse Mom


©Dorothy Chiotti, Aimwell CreativeWorks 2103

23 thoughts on “Forward with Forgiveness

  1. Interesting. I hear what you’re saying and am trying to learn from it, but that little voice in the back of my mind is saying “what about all the things that those people have done?” My people, that is. I will continue to think about this further… it is a very thought-provoking piece.

    • Thanks. I understand what you’re saying. I’m going to do my best to live by this lesson. It is a challenge to undo old patterns of behaviour and to forgive those who have hurt us, but it’s time for me to get on with it. I have a lot to accomplish going forward and being stuck in the negative past, bogged down by the hurt and pain, is not constructive. … Like I said, I will do my best to honour Bear’s lesson to me. … I wish you well on your journey. … Nurture what you love 🙂

  2. I hope you have found peace! What wonderful timing for you to realize this, on the back of a very smart animal, one that you adore. He has given you a life gift!

    • Thanks, Mark. Yes, it is simply a matter of getting past the noise of life and listening with an open heart. God is in the silence of our thoughts. I’ll never forget how I was struck by this lesson on the back of my horse.

  3. A beautiful post! You have found the secret of the “horse whisperer.” Only Bear is the whisperer and you are the human gathering knowledge from your connection. Your story is lovely. We have so much to learn from our fellow creatures.

    • Thanks, Mike. It’s really key to self-awareness. I catch myself thinking or saying things that might send me down the road to resentment. I just don’t want to go there anymore. Time to move forward to a more positive outcome. Not that that hasn’t always been my goal, just that now I’m more aware of what’s been holding me back. 😉

    • Yes, they are. Bear is one of my most important life teachers. As long as I am in the moment with him he is there with me. I am blessed. 🙂 … Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. … Be well, Dorothy

      • Bear sounds awesome. I always wanted a horse and my dream is to be able to offer a home to unwanted/rescued horses; I need to win the lotto but that’s my plan if/when I do. I used to ride when younger and it was not so much the riding that appealed to me, I was happy when in the presence of a horse — a calm consumed me.

        Recently, I had the pleasure of standing with a magnificent bay. He was so handsome and had those big, brown genuine eyes. I placed my hand on his head and breathed near his nostrils, I love it when they blow on your face. It was like nothing else in the world mattered, just him and me. We connected and I could have stayed with him forever. I felt more than peace and calm; I experienced love. Just like that.

        To be in the company of a horse is a privilege and a pleasure.

      • Yes it is, and this is not lost on me. … I hope in your life time you have many opportunities to spend time with horses. Have you thought of volunteering at a local rescue? There are many abandoned horses out there who need your special brand of love. 😉

      • It is something that I would love to do when I am up to it, it would be the perfect place for me to be 😉

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