With each successfully experience our confidence improves, which should further develop our self-acceptance. I find that the most difficult part of this aspect of our journey is knowing when to accept what we cannot change, and how to change what we can. If we try to change something that cannot possibly change, it can lead to defeat and scar our self-confidence. However, we must try to change what we can change or we will not fulfill our capabilities. I believe, as we advance through the stages of our life we seek to balance ourselves through a positive philosophy, knowing when to accept becomes more clearly defined and more easily enforced.
Change is a key element to acceptance. The ability to change is an important part our uniqueness. Each experience, each personal encounter, as well as what we hear and see, changes us. We are not the same person from one day to the next. Each time we come across an obstacle in our life, we need to evaluate the situation, learn from it, and hopefully make a positive change in our life.
If we accept the circumstances of life and learn to evaluate them, we discover that experiences combined with positive attitude and a philosophy of betterment can turn many experiences into positive assets. The acceptance and “letting go” that I learned in my riding and horse relationships continues to be an asset to my personal and professional life. I believe the interchange of experiences through open-minded evaluation followed by acceptance or change has a powerful influence on all areas of our life.
People are often afraid of change because change represents the unknown, and this fear contributes to many people’s unwillingness to make a change. Throughout my life, I have witnessed many people in all areas of my life be driven by fear. They are unable to change the things that they are capable of changing. In order for us to reach our full potential we need to learn to face our fears and take a leap into the unknown so we can grow and learn to accept the things we cannot change.
We can learn some much about acceptance through our equine relationships. Your horse accepts you with your uniqueness. He does not judge that you are too fat, too thin, too tall or too short. If you can accept yourself as your horse does, you will discover a new-found love and acceptance for yourself and your horse. We need to accept our horses as they accept us, with all their strengthens and weaknesses. Without acceptance, it is easy to get caught up in resentments, self-pity and anger. These resentments can begin to govern your life, and the discoloration can prevent you from enjoying the beauty and the awe that are part of every situation.
However, we should not accept a painful or a negative situation without challenging it. Each time an obstacle is presented, you must investigate it thoroughly, understand it, do what you can do to change it, and then accept the things you can not change. I realize that this is much easier said than done, however I believe the result is well worth the tough part of it.
Everyone of us has obstacles to deal with. Often people feel alone or unacceptable because of their problem. Our uniqueness makes us feel alone with our conflict or problem. Unfortunately, our society does not encourage intimate communication. The difficulty of trusting others with our problems or concerns contributes to our loneliness. Loneliness delays our search for acceptance. During my lonely times I always had horses to turn to. Horses continue to be my counselor, best friend and support, however as I grow older I have developed other ways to resolve internal conflict, obstacles and issues in my life. I love to write and journal writing became a huge part of my life and a safe outlet to express myself freely. This in turn helps me release my anxiety, fears and weaknesses without judgment-just like my horses do! I find that sharing and expressing my ideas and feelings, whether with my horse, a person or a pen and paper, helps me relieve the pressure and loneliness of a problem. It can also help me find a solution to the problem that I am facing.
We are unique human beings and our horses our unique creatures. Each individual horse and each individual human has some weakness to deal with. Understanding this helps us accept ourselves and our horses, the more thoroughly we can look at our environment. The more realistic our goals, the more we can accept the joy and beauty that surrounds us.