Living with Courage and Acceptance
No-one likes to feel vulnerable. As children we learn ways to protect ourselves from vulnerability- from being hurt, diminished, and dismissed. We learn at an early age to put on armour. We learn how to use our emotions to defend ourselves and how to make ourselves scarce; even how to make ourselves invisible. Not surprisingly, once we’ve built a protective set of armour- it’s very hard to take off and leave off.
As flight animals, horses are vulnerable. They are prey animals and yet they do not live with wearing a set of armour. A prime example of how horses live with courage and acceptance is our newest member, Halo. He knows his place in the herd. He’s last in the pecking order and at times the others push him around and pick on him. He is a meek, mild natured horse who, not surprisingly, appeals to many of our clients who sense his vulnerability. He stands slightly to the side of the others and when approached by them, tends to move out of the way.
But Halo lives his life with acceptance and courage. He does not bear grudges and hostility. He reacts to what is happening to him and then gets ‘back to grazing’. He lives with contentment, not angst and uncertainty – he is happy to be part of the herd, but with the courage to live his life in the way that makes sense to him. He chooses not to wear the armour and more importantly he chooses not to carry weapons as well.
Psychologist, Brene Brown writes “Vulnerability sounds like truth and feels like courage. Truth and courage aren’t always comfortable, but they’re never weakness.” We can all learn from Halo’s acceptance of his vulnerability and admire his courage in accepting it and living how he wants.
For more information on equine therapy, Please call Annie on 0411 549562.