Sometimes, we walk around in our lives full of anger, ready to pounce on unsuspecting victims if they get in our way or say the wrong thing. Whether or not that anger arose the day before, the week before, or maybe even a lifetime ago, we humans have the ability to carry our anger around for a long time. How can we let go?
Suzy* and Carissa* struggled to get their chosen equine through the obstacle course. Others were getting their horses and donkeys through, why couldn’t they? They were breathing hard, Suzy began to raise her voice, and Carissa began to shut down. Their blonde pony showed equal signs of upset, balking and resisting at the slightest request to move forward. Realizing they were out of time for the activity, they despairingly took the lead and halter off the pony. Suzy and Carissa watched as he shook his head and mane and calmly walked off to join his companions.
The women rejoined their group, observably still brewing over their “failed” attempt at the obstacle course. They all looked back at the pony and the other equines as they stood basking in the sun. A member of the group commented on how quickly the pony had let go of the struggle and was enjoying life again. Suzy and Carissa looked at their pony and then back at each other. They both smiled, realizing how much anger they had been holding inside themselves and between them.
The group posed a question for Suzy and Carissa; what if they tried the obstacle again, but without all the anger they were holding? They looked at each other and agreed. Before diving back into the activity, Carissa and Suzy spent a few moments breathing with their equine, letting their anger and frustration dissipate. Once they felt ready, they began the obstacle again. The blonde pony had other plans and continued to balk and shy away from the obstacle. However, instead of becoming angry and upset with one another, Suzy and Carissa comforted the pony, appearing to also comfort themselves. They didn’t get to the other end of the obstacle, but as they returned to the group, they had big smiles on their faces and said, “That was good!”
The blonde pony taught them the gift of the here and now, about the freedom of letting go of anger and frustration instead of carrying it into the next activity, day or week. While Carissa and Suzy didn’t reach the other side of the obstacle, they were still winners – they were able to let go of their anger and enjoy and participate in the here and now.
*all names and identifying information have been changed.