Do not confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but does not make any progress. Alfred A. Montapert
When I was a little girl I had one of those heavy plastic rocking horses that was attached by coils to a metal base that kept the horse grounded. I could sit on my horse, bounce up and down, sideways and front and back. I loved that horse. The motion. The joy of sitting and bouncing and riding.
My rocking horse never made any progress in the physical sense of getting from Point A to B, but I sure could make it ride across plains and continents, oceans and skies. Every time I rode I experienced some new and exciting adventure. I was Annie Oakley, the Lone Ranger and Tonto all dressed up in one. I moved around the world, saving children and dogs and civilisations from sure destruction.
I was powerful.
My rocking horse was my escape from the world in which I lived. The world around me which I didn’t understand, or didn’t make sense, or simply was too complicated to grasp.
As I grew, I had to let go of my rocking horse. Without it, I had to find some other way to escape the world around me — escape being the operative word. I never wanted to get off my horse, so I created a mighty steed within my mind who could transport me away from the world in which I lived into a world that made sense to me. A world that ideally suited me. A world in which I had control. I had power. A world where I was all powerful because, well, I was writing the script. I controlled every scene, every word, every action. I determined who was there, what they did and said and what happened. Cool!
I loved my imaginary worlds when I was a child. They were fun! Problem is, as an adult, escaping into scripted scenes within my head is not an effective way to live my best life yet. Scripted scenes where I control the people, places, actions, scenes and words are not a reflection of the world around me. They are a reflection of what I want to have happen, what I believe could happen — if everyone and everything in my world did what I thought was best, or right, or simply acceptable to me!
And that just ain’t the way the world rocks. Often, the world in my mind becomes a wild ride upon my high horse of self-deception. Armed with my quiver of judgement filled with arrows of complaint, criticism, and condemnation I take aim at gentle hearts and opening minds and pierce balloons of possibility with my conviction that I know what is best for the world around me.
I must admit, I have clung to many a high horse in my adulthood and run roughshod through many a delicate blossom of life unfolding. I have sat upon my mighty stead trampling other people’s feelings and perceptions with the heavy footed destruction of King Kong stomping through New York.
And always, when the ride was over, I have fallen off my high horse in a fit of embarrassed consternation that so much destruction could be created in such a short, wild ride, by me.
High horses, like rocking horses do not get me anywhere other than where I don’t want to be — Eating sawdust in the not so OK Corral of my mind, grovelling in the mud of guilt and disappointment.
The good news is… dismounting from my high horse comes easier now. I am progressing.
I have learned how to keep my quiver of judgements empty. My arrows of criticism, complaints and condemnation sheathed.
Filled with the joy of fearlessly embracing who I am when I let go of clinging to the neck of my high horse, I am free to dance in the lightness of my being human. That fragile condition where peace of heart reigns as long as I let go of my need to control the world around me.
It ain’t always easy. Somedays I want to grab an arrow and shoot right to the heart of what I judge to be someone else’s problem.
That’s when I must remember to breathe. Deeply. And ask, what’s really happening here? What is this world of wonder and beauty asking me to see and know?
In that place of breathing deeply, I open up to all that is possible when I let go of judgement and step fearlessly into Love.