Horsey Therapist

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Softness and tears

Many months ago, I set my intention to be soft.

It seems lately, with softness come tears. Often. With little or no sense of 'why'. Some days my eyes are blurry with extra wetness all day long. Some days a bit of flooding with a sense of sorrow occurs. Some days I'm so busy I miss softness while focused on accomplishing something -- nothing wet those days.

Today is a wet day in my eyes, a soft day in my heart. Maybe more tears and softness come after a period of defensiveness. That would make sense. And in the presence of my horses, I let go of defenses, wanting to simply connect in a place where my mind is quiet, my heart is open.

Little upsets here and there in my life. Some major stresses as well, but nothing I can control so really, what can one do but focus on one foot stepping after the next. Or feeling the breeze enliven my skin when the feet (and the mind) stop. Or listening to the bells clanging as the sheep move about the closer field I've opened to them.

Grief keeps surprising me.

I am mortal. I am reminded through recent contact with a cancer survivor of this. Reviewing my own experience with diagnosis and treatment allows bubbles of memories to surface from the past. So many changes, inside and out, since that experience.

I miss my mother. The anniversary of her death was last week. More bubbles float outward from the depths of me.

My role is changing with the horse herd at the therapeutic riding program where I work. I suspect some of my sorrow and uncertainty is connected with that. We hired a horse herd coordinator who is skilled and thoughtful and doing a superb job managing all aspects of the herd's needs. This is all good, however my role as the fill-in trainer is over. I liked that role. But of all the responsibilities of the herd coordinator, that was really the only one I wanted, which kept me from applying for the job myself.

It is curious that I've been wandering around though my life for weeks now with these teary eyes. And feeling OK about not knowing what was behind all this. I still can't say with confidence "I know", but today I have hints.

A spiritual teacher once said, "Not knowing is most intimate." I puzzled for years about this, but I think I'm starting to understand his meaning.

I renew my commitment to softness. I trust one day softness will bring laughter and joy. Today it brings tears. I can accept what I do not understand. I can allow what I do not understand. Can I celebrate what I do not understand?


At 17 August, 2008 11:31, Blogger Victoria Cummings said...

LJB - I think that there are different stages of grief. My father has been gone for almost twenty year, and there are still days when I shed tears missing him. Putting one foot in front of the other and moving through is my way of finding acceptance. Once I've come to the point of acceptance, everything always loosens up. I'm glad you have your horses to help you get through all of life's challenges.

At 17 August, 2008 18:51, Blogger Grey Horse Matters said...

My mom has been gone for almost ten years now, we were the best of friends, and I still miss her. Sometimes it seems as if it were yesterday she died not so many years ago. The pain of grief lessens with time but it is always there below the surface. It's not unusual to shed a few tears, I do on occasion.
I'm also still missing my horse, who was my heart,he died last year. I've stopped automatically looking for him in the paddock. I remember him with laughter and his unique ways of doing things, his personality and his kindness. Yes, I still get teary sometimes when I think about him and how I miss him.
Life goes on and we can accept and allow what we do not understand but I don't know if I can yet celebrate what I do not understand, perhaps someday...I'm sure one day the tears will stop and the softness will bring laughter and joy.


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