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.Share on Facebook