Do you know what's working for you?
The other day, I came across a blog post someone wrote titled "Let's Stop Normalizing Toxic Barn Drama." It caught my eye because I spent a lot of time trying to find the "right" barn for me. I never experienced toxic barn drama myself. By the time I decided to pursue working with horses I had already done (or at least done a good-size chunk of) my inner-work and know what types of energy I am willing to be around regularly. That being said, for a year or so before I found the barn I am at now with Groot, I visited many barns to take lessons. Some I took just one lesson before I realized it wasn't the place for me, others I didn't even get past walking up the driveway before I knew it wasn't. But you can't understand what is right for you until you know who you are.
Getting to know myself, and then learning to like and love myself was a process that has taken many, many years. I'm still a work in progress, but in those years of doing work on myself and learning what things work for me and what things don't, many parts of my life have shifted. It hasn't all been easy; in truth, a lot of it has been downright sucky. I've let longstanding friendships go that weren't working for me, or were downright unhealthy for me. I've moved on from groups that once served me very well for where I was in my journey at the one point but stopped being good for me either as I shifted, or the group dynamic shifted. As I write this, I realize it may come across as if moving away from these friendships and groups was easy. It wasn't. I spent a lot of time being sad and lonely. It sucked, did I mention that? But it didn't suck forever. I stopped being sad, and I stopped being lonely. Because by knowing what I wanted for myself, I was able to know what I didn't want. And by removing what I didn't want from my life, I was able to open space to allow in what I did want. So while we are all living in this not-normal time of physical distancing, I continue to dig down into what is and is not working for me. It's the perfect time when many of us have some extra time with just ourselves or perhaps only a few others close to us where we can sit quietly and think about those parts of our life that are working for us, and those that aren't. And when the world eventually goes back to normal, we can choose only to resume the relationships and associations that work for us, and that helps us be the best versions of ourselves.