Horsey Therapist

Friday, June 15, 2007

Here and Now

Some of us value being in the here and now just as it is. Some of us tolerate, even rejoice, in the here and now that we find moment to moment. Some of us want to be in the here and now later, as soon as ... the rain stops, the elbow stops hurting, the new well is paid for...

The here and now is here and now. It is not later. We have the ability to think we are in the here and now however we are only thinking that. Thinking about being is a step separated from being without thinking. How many of us have memory of this state? How many of us are familiar with it? How many of us can recover it at will? How many of us do not really know that this Here and Now thing might have great value?

Our horses live in the here and now. Yes, they have memories of what happened in the past, and if we establish a habit around them, they can anticipate the future. But they are 100% grounded in the here and now, by birth and unalterable by us, even when they have a memory or an anticipation. And in order to connect with them, in order to actually see what is Here and Now with them, we need to be here, now.

An exchange with Mark Rashid got me thinking more about this. He said "truth is negotiable" and asked if I agreed. At first I did not. That led to my seeking a shared understanding of what "truth" means, and also what "negotiable" means. I had an inaccurate interpretation of "negotiable" which included elements of "compromise", so once that cleared up, I was able to agree. Some key part of the exchange referred to when person A is doing X, and person B, not present with A at the moment of A's doing X, believes A is doing Y. So A's perception of the truth (I'm doing X) is different from B's perception of the truth (A is doing Y), but both perceptions are understood subjectively by each as 'the truth'.

After looking at how one truth is actually what is happening and the other is a (mis)interpretation of the actual facts, it became clear that indeed truth is negotiable.

I still have trouble with the word 'negotiable'. It troubles me because I have thought it refers to when two people each have to give up something in order to agree. I prefer the model that two people can each gain something in creating agreement or accord. My friend RW helped me open my thinking as I substitute "compromise" to reflect the meaning I had for "negotiate".

Listening to Mark I caught a picture of not just how it is between two people in general, but how it is between teacher and student of horsemanship, and in line with the concept of parallel process, how it is between human and horse.

The horse would be like person A, and reflecting the actual facts or truth of the situation. The human is B, who has an interperative story about the actual facts, which distorts those facts to some degree and hence distorts the emotional and behavioral response to the actual facts.

It shows up in terms of a horse in pain for example. How many times have you seen a horse who looks off from unsoundness or saddle fit or something else? And the owner/rider has managed to hide those facts from consciousness for whatever important reasons. Meanwhile, the human's perceptions do not reflect the actual facts, or in this case, the horse's truth.

This can apply to emotional issues as well. The actual facts may be that the horse is in pain and cannot give 100%. Horse and person A's perceptions coincide with reality. Person B's perception, based on a misinterpretation of the actual facts -- horse is not giving 100% -- might foster the thought that the horse is lazy, or perhaps the horse is sneaky, trying to get out of work.

With whose truth do you want to be in alignment?

4 Comments:

At 15 June, 2007 11:26, Blogger ELL said...

I will always want to remain aligned with my truth and allow for the posibilty of any amount of other truths to exist. In my world that has allowed me to remain centered and less emotional. It facilitates sucessful human relationships on every level and grately aids in my ability to pose persuasive arguments in most negotiations. It also makes compromise a less emotional event. I have long known how acknowledging the truths of others can benefit me / help them. But I am just learning to figure the same thing out with horses. It's funny how we are exactly opposite in our reatction to the words negotiation and compromise. Compromise to me is giving up something. Negotiation to me means a chance to have what I need / want.

 
At 15 June, 2007 13:09, Blogger LJB said...

Oh, compromise to me also means giving up something. I guess I didn't write clearly. I had erroneously thought 'negotiate' was a synonym for 'compromise' and hence did not like what either word meant. Collaborate is the word I would have chosen to reflect when everyone gets some creative input into a plan that pleases all involved. But now I can feel OK about using 'negotiate' as well as 'collaborate'.

 
At 15 June, 2007 18:31, Blogger ZinniaZ said...

I am going to go way off into left field. There is a science fiction novel about a planet and about a community of beings who believe that truth can only be found in hearing all of the perceptions of an event. So persons A through Z experience an event and all describe their version of it and all together these are truth.

You wrote: "After looking at how one truth is actually what is happening and the other is a (mis)interpretation of the actual facts, it became clear that indeed truth is negotiable."

This is ONE way in which truth is negotiable. In your example, one person has experienced the truth and one person has misinterpreted the truth. What if BOTH have perceived the 'truth' but the truth is in fact different for each but equally true? Is that possible? Can the truth be different for each individual? I think in some ways, yes, absolutely. There are some truths that can onyl have one interpretation. But other truths that are individual and not just misinterpretation but TRUE interpreation of the same set of facts. One person does not have to be wrong... they can both be right. Do you agree?

 
At 15 June, 2007 21:43, Blogger LJB said...

Zin wrote: "Can the truth be different for each individual? I think in some ways, yes, absolutely. There are some truths that can onyl have one interpretation. But other truths that are individual and not just misinterpretation but TRUE interpreation of the same set of facts."

I took the same stance when I entered this discussion with Mark. It's been my belief for ages, and backed by 'science' like the Cat thing (hope I'm not mixing my lousy memories) -- that the observed is altered by the act of being observed or something along those lines. Sorry late and sleep deprived. Anyway, in my clinical profession and my life experience, it's been clear to me that what I know as true may not be the truth that someone else knows. Like your example. Like the story of the 3 blind wise men who meet an elephant for the first time. One encounters the tail and describes the elephant as a rope. One the leg and hence the elephant is like a tree. And so on.

Anyway, I think I will still hold that the truth is what is. AND many of us hold our interpretations of what is as the truth. The whole conversation arose I think to illuminate some difficulties teaching horsemanship because many students believe their interpretations of 'the truth', however the horse will show those whose eyes are unveiled what their truth really is. Does that make sense?

 

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