Recently there is a recurring theme in my life: "trust."
The word "trust" ties in to many other issues- honesty, loyalty, respect, love and for me, inner peace.
Having been brought up in a emotionally tumultuous environment, at a very young age I made a vow to myself that when I could make my own choices, I would choose peace.
Of course, I haven't always had or made that choice. Our children aren't always the bearers of "Om." Past relationships sometimes proved rocky, but the resilience I learned as a child frequently put me in the role of mediator, peacekeeper, until, in a few cases, the relationships had to go- it was either me or them. And I owed it to myself and my family to stop being the relationship worker bee and intermediary.
Here I am in New Zealand. I feel the undeniable bond with my soul connections in the states and it as if we are telepathically connected; escpecially my 89 year old mother and me, who always "knows" when I am going to call. These relationships are cemented in honesty and trust.
Major life changes highlight who and what you can trust in your life. But the most important lesson has been trusting myself. Not being in the middle of people's stuff, literally, has given me room to be driven by my own growth and motivations, and at this age and with a health issue that is very stress-sensitive, that has been an important paradigm shift.
My relationship with my fresh off the track, green, Standardbred has been so important to me because we are both on a journey of growth together. And trust is at the core of that journey.
Yesterday on our ride it was once again evident that he had been traumatized with the racetrack experience. As we passed a home building site with a blaring radio and construction, he froze. His body was trembling. Shaking, actually, from head to toe. I quickly realized how much the radio would have sounded like the announcer at the racetracks. He would quickly swirl around and erratically and emotionally, try to escape.
Instead of thwacking Rocky and trying to overpower him we took our time. I asked the house to please turn off the radio. One of the workers eventually came out to the road to show Rocky it was okay. After twenty minutes, and the same amount of near dismounts, RockStar was finally able to relax enough to pass. With that he learned, once again, that I was not going to lead him into danger.
Imagine if I would have been angry and kicking him and hitting him to get him to go, to teach him a lesson? To try to provoke instantaneous change? It would have taken our relationship back to square one. Many riders are driven from that place, of having to show the horse who's boss and using aggression to do so. As with human relationships, sometimes you have to stop forcing it to be a certain way. Give people a chance to find their own path. Sometimes you have to pull back and wait. Or let go. And trust your decision if that decision is coming from a place of inner peace.
There is a fine line between letting yourself be emotionally trampled, weathering rough storms with others, and working harder than others do in relationships. For me, when that line blurs, it is my cue to pull back and work on the only thing I can truly have any "control" over: myself.
And I'll continue my very concrete learning experience with my RockStar and be ever guided to show him that he can trust me. That I am coming from a place of peace. That I only want positive growth for him. That I am his leader he can trust to keep him safe and in turn he will learn to consistently keep me or any other benevolent rider safe.
There are myriad ways to explore the word "trust" and today this was mine.