Saturday, October 23, 2010

Seeing It Through Other Eyes

Someone I love, a really good friend who also rides, says to me from time to time, "If only I could see what you see in me, understand how you see it." If only she could.

I think my friend was taught to apologize for herself at what must have been an early age. Some life lessons -- mostly the bad ones -- when learned during childhood and youth prove almost impossible to shake off and discard. My friend's self-esteem withdrew to a safe distance, hidden behind the need to silence her own voice because someone, sometime, either didn't want to hear it or didn't care when it spoke. The particulars of that don't matter. Any time life asks us to erase a part of our identity, we are forced upstream against our nature and left to sort out the side effects even as we discover them. That's harder when you're young.

In spite of that, kicking around in my friend was a vital being hungry for expression and release. Some people would dial the volume down on that hunger, or console it with substitutes. Others might ascend to the shallowest level of themselves, choosing to live there in a deceptive kind of peace.

Passion is a force strong enough to pull us free if we are lucky enough to find it and brave enough to accept its calling. My friend found the voice of her passion in horses, and she had the drive to listen, the heart to listen to what that voice compelled.

I don't know all the facts, like how many years she rode before getting her first horse, how many horses she had before finding the treasure she's owned for more than a decade. But I know that all along the path, she battled against that deep-seated need to diminish herself by negotiating for her right to have horses in her life. In the end, she could only give herself what she needed. 

Recently, I have watched my friend discover her identity as a rider. The toughness with which she protected and nurtured her love of horses and riding is the same toughness that has brought her finally to the verge of self-acceptance. There, her skills will shine even brighter than they already do. 

It takes guts to have what you want when life has put you down. It takes wisdom to recognize that the very thing you want is also the one thing that can help you get it. It takes simple love to not see the one corrupted by the other. All this I see in my friend and in the horses who accept her voice as a trusted guide. How can I not stand in awe of her?


Kate said...

Very lovely - thanks!

Katie said...

Wow. Yep, a simple wow, only three letters, but with deep astonishment. Pretty much speachless now but only if you could see my tears in writing. Thank you. And thank you for being you.

allhorsestuff said...

Hello You,
I am here trying to see the keys to type now...popped over from your nice comment at my place, and after reading your latest revelation, am sobbing.

You could have written that about me(probably many of us). I do belive I strive to allow my mare to have her voice and to make sure I have addressed her issues...because, she represents ME.
She is beautiful and smart, willing and was wild. Someone hurt her intesionally. It created some ugly and painful resentment in her..and sometimes she misplaces them against me, as I do with my innner fears against the world sometimes,when I hurt.

We Journey together, this mare and I. I try to understand her feasrs and past hurts..and reveals mine!

I appreciate your freindship with you lovely hearted horsefriend.
She is blessed to have you!

Muddy K said...

KK, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I really do forget that people read my blog, and I'm glad you connected with this post. As it happens, reading about you and Wa has often reminded me of the friend I wrote the post about. I'm going to send her to your blog.