18
Jul 13

God's Hoof Knife

Not too long ago, I was floating in our pool after sunset, watching the colors over the pond slowly put themselves to bed.  I realized that my life was full of joy and pleasure, yet the thing I was most grateful for was feeling my happiness does not depend on any of the things I love.

A week ago, I learned something with the potential to significantly change my life.  I handled it with grace and acceptance for about 12 hours, before I fell into despair at the possibility of losing what was most important in my life.  By the third day, I managed to release it to the power of Divine Love and to put the practical remains in a box for later.  I began to trust that I would know what to do, when action was called for.

Within a couple days, an option came to me out of the blue, for handling the situation.  It seemed crazy and off-the-wall, yet it is possible that it could be away through the situation with wisdom and integrity.

After the initial relief at having options, I have been wracked by sadness.  I began to question God.  I accused God of setting me an exam that was unfair: Why should I have to act as the only "grown-up" in this situation? I was reminded of how I used to try to write my exams when I was a professor:  A good exam teaches, even in the process of revealing the areas in which knowledge is still lacking.

I feel like the Universe has been intensively preparing me to be able to graciously take the action suggested for the past year or more.  Yet, this 'solution' has brought awareness of just how far I have to go in my life's journey.  I asked why I seem to need to process this decision as if it is happening now.

That's when God showed my his hoof knife.

Sometimes, a horse will have a puncture or bruise to the hoof that apparently heals over, but retains damage deep inside.  The horse may seem sound for a long, long time and the hoof look healthy.  Sometimes, that concealed injury can cause serious problems before anyone figures out the cause.  During the course of routine care, the farrier will shave away the old parts of the hoof and notice a small black line.  A good farrier will gently explore the discoloration, shaving away until the line disappears or until she reaches the area of decay.  Once discovered, any rot can be removed and healing can proceed.

I left an abusive relationship ten years ago.  I have been through counseling, PTSD therapy and recently started 12-step work.  After 10 years of work on myself, I thought I was sound.  I have been strong; always fighting for what is right and learning to trust in the outcome.  Today, I saw how vulnerable I still feel in one area.  For the past week, the Divine Farrier has been the paring away my sole (pun intended) to release this last (I hope) pocket of decay.  By mentally working through this situation now, when it is primarily between me and God, I can heal an area where I still have attachment and fear.  I will be ready to soundly carry my Purpose when the time comes.

 

 

 

 

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5
Jul 12

Eintag is Today

As a child, my vision of Heaven was of a place where all knowledge was possible, but you had to ask or wonder about it before you could know the answer.  A place of eternal learning.

Twenty years and a couple marriages ago, I first began to take self-improvement seriously.  I used to look forward to the day when I was "done".  Done addressing my shortcomings and done fixing the things that were wrong with me so I could get on with real living.

Some day, I imagined, I would be "finished". I could relax; enjoy life and stop fretting about what else I needed to fix to make things "right".  I would be the person I wanted to be, so therefor, life would also be what I wanted it to be.

If my childhood vision was the wisdom of the innocent, then what I wished for as an adult was not heaven, but death.  How did I go from knowing that happiness is growing, becoming and learning to the thought that happiness is being "done", or reaching the end of the journey?

When I brought horses back into my life several years ago, I couldn't afford a "finished" (well-trained) horse.  Consequently, I purchased a pair of very nice, but green horses.  When I acquired them, I had in my mind a vision that in a year or so we'd be "done" with the training period.  I'd have a finished horse and could go about the business of riding, carefree.  Three years later, I still have not cantered on either of my young horses.

In those three years,  I have learned much about myself, and come face-to-face with my own limitations as I've built a partnership with them.  Recently, I realized that I have had far more fun and a more enriching experience for having played, worked and learned with them than if they were "push-button" horses from the start.  Just as my children have, my horses have taught me far more than I have taught them.  Once I learned to enjoy the horse that is on any given day, rather than looking for the horse that will be, I rediscovered my childhood satisfaction of horse ownership and the innocent joy of learning and growing.   [BTW,  I now own a 26-year old finished horse and  my greatest joy, besides cantering bareback, is what he teaches me].

It's finally dawning on me that the process of challenges, self-examination and growth is not what must be endured before life can truly be lived, it is life itself.

"Eintag" is Today.

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6
Jun 12

Old Gold

Pardner came to live with us about 6 months ago.  He's 26 years old and blind in one eye.   He's not registered, pedigreed and, as far as I know, has never won great accolades in horse shows or competition.  He's got a few health issues and needs a little extra TLC.

Pardner is a very fortunate horse in that he was raised and trained with Parelli Natural Horsemanship principles.  Most importantly, this means his outlook on humanity is that they are partners, not predators to him.  He has lived a life expecting mostly good things from his humans.  He has never developed vices because he never had anything to escape from.

As Pardner and I have developed our own relationship, he has begun to greet me at the gate each morning, usually waiting to be let out to graze as I work with one of our younger horses, or do chores around the ranch.  More and more frequently, I'll jump on his back and go for an impromptu ride.  He's helped me to find the confidence in my body's; balance, flexibility, timing as we(I) get increasingly brave about riding bareback again, chasing cows, cantering and riding without reins.

He's also teaching me many things.  Especially about aging.

He's the oldest horse on the place and the most physically limited, but he's worth his weight in gold.

The sum of the good experiences in life have left him with a positive outlook.

The fire of impetuosity has given way to a quiet power.  No wasted energy on fidgeting or fighting against what is, but he's still got what he needs, when he needs it.

He's got a large enough perspective to be gracious to the young and inexperienced, but has maintained the sensitivity to respond to subtle cues from the right people.

He's doesn't need to be the boss of the herd, but DOES have a limit to what he will put up with from the youngsters.  He's got the boundary thing down.

His innate goodness has landed him in a good place.  He's got a home for his remaining years where he is loved and accepted as he is.

He's passing on his experience to my boys as they learn to ride and to me as I use him to hone the skills I need for my younger horses.  His ability to teach is probably greater now than ever in his life.

I've decided I want to be like Pardner when I get old.

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