If I could post the entire chapter of the book I’m reading here, I would.
I’m reading Believe, A Horseman’s Journey by Buck Brannaman (is the horseman who the Robert Redford movie, the Horse Whisperer was based on) and William Reynolds. Now some of you might be tuning out right now since you’re thinking “how does a horse book apply to me?”, but this man not only can read a horse, he can read things from the human perspective as well; and he’s damn good at it.
I found The first part of Chapter 4 very relevant to my life right now, so I’m going to share it:
Have you ever been with a couple- whether they’re married or just dating, it makes no difference- that didn’t appear to have much of a relationship? A couple where one or the other, or maybe both at the same time, will nag to the point where the other completely shuts down? Maybe they don’t talk at all, or just sort of act like they’re not there with their partner- they’re not together, in the mental and emotional sense. When you see that, you realize that they’ve been acting this way for so long, they don’t even know what they’re doing anymore. If they could watch themselves, they’d be ashamed and embarrassed. But living like this can become a habit. What I’ve found interesting is that when someone is nagging you- trying to impose his or her will in a way that is so relentless, there is never an opportunity for you to accept or reject it- you begin to feel trapped. The pressure is always on, and the options that you might otherwise have offered are not only not even recognized to be right or wrong, they’re not even acknowledged in any way. That relentless sort of attack can be a way of life for some people.
I think, at this point in my life this is completely relevant, as it does a lot to explain how I ended up in my current situation. There was no release from the pressure I was feeling everyday. I felt I couldn’t do enough; be enough; work hard enough; and I was just worn out. Every suggestion for compromise I made was either dismissed or not heard, at least from my perspective, and my perception is my reality, right?
I didn’t write this, because I think that certain people will read it, and I didn’t write this as a way to communicate with that *particular* individual. I wrote it as a therapy for myself, and because I am sure I’m not the only person that has ever felt this way.
How this relates to horses is simple: a horse moves away from pressure. They’re like water, if you will. Typically they will choose the path of least resistance. This is true when you watch them in a herd. The alpha (lead) horse will typically walk toward another horse and that horse gets out of their way. A horse that is nagged and *forced* and *made* to do things, will often sull-up, rear, buck, or otherwise be ugly when there is constant pressure placed on them, as there is no *release* for them either. It’s their way of saying, release me.