Friday, February 24, 2017
Some years ago I heard a woman tell a remarkable story about a stallion that she had rescued. This is one of my favorite healing stories and it takes a little time to tell it properly, so hang in here with me because it is so worth it for the significant insight and understanding that it can bring to our lives.
The woman who told me this story owned and operated an equine facility that helped people to recover from emotional and physical trauma. This story is about her stallion's wisdom and it has long been my experience that horses can often be our very best teachers.
The stallion's name was Merlin. She had acquired him while he was still quite young and after he had been abused at a training facility. Despite her years of gentle care, he never fully recovered from the experiences in his youth and was always a little mean with the other horses. He needed to be approached and handled with caution by everyone, including her and the farm hands. But because of this, he taught her volumes about how to live with and heal from deep and authentic wounds.
In the horse business, farm owners often purchase insurance for their animals in case of injury or illness, since medical treatment can quickly become prohibitively expensive. During his long life at her farm, Merlin, always virile and strong, had reached a certain age where the horse health insurance companies cancel their policies. So, Merlin no longer had insurance for his health care.
Horses, at any age can experience a very life threatening condition known as colic. This occurs when something causes a blockage in their intestinal tract and the grasses and grains still remaining in the colon begin to ferment and create gas which causes immense abdominal pressure and pain. Without emergency veterinarian care, this often results in a terrible death. With the administration of large amounts of mineral oil given orally through a tube put down into the horse's stomach, the blockage typically will free itself. The oil makes everything soft loose and slippery, allowing whatever is stuck to pass. But if that doesn't work, major surgery is required to prevent the horse's demise.
One of the problems with colic is that the pain in the horse's abdomen makes them want to get down and roll. But the rolling can cause those inflated intestines to flip over and kink, thus blocking the passage of their undigested food even more. So, the horse needs to be kept up on it's feet to prevent it from rolling. And this usually means long hours of walking the horse around the farm until the oil takes effect and the horse begins to have bowel movements once more.
Though Merlin was cantankerous, he was his owner's favorite. So when he got colic the vet was called, the oil was administered, surgery was discussed, but the high price of the medical bills would have bankrupted the entire farm and shut down her business. Given that there was no health insurance for Merlin, very sadly, surgery was not an option.
Merlin's was a particularly bad case of colic; it showed no signs of letting up. Throughout the day, all of the woman's horsey friends and fellow ranch owners were called and enlisted to help with walking him. As the afternoon drug on, the vet was called back and Merlin's owner asked if there was any hope for the stallion at all. The vet said that there was virtually none, explaining there was maybe a one in a million chance of survival, but most likely his thrashing in the night would entangle the intestines further and finish him off.
As the difficult day drew to a close, everyone was sure that Merlin would die. Most of her dear friends and helpers recommended euthanasia as the only humane choice. But she just couldn't do it. When the sun had set, her friends all extended their heartfelt sympathy and with their condolences, they headed for home.
Alone with her beloved horse, the one who had taught her so much, she decided to turn him loose in a large foaling stall. That way she could spend the night with him in order to offer any comfort that she could and she could be with him when his time came. She bedded the stall heavily with nice clean shavings and together, they began the long time of darkness.
Once he was free to roll in the stall, Merlin began getting up and down, over and over, sweating profusely and obviously showing signs of continued distress. But, curiously enough, he would stop his thrashing periodically, about once every half hour or so. Then he would head to the stall door, the top half of which was open, and reach his head out and whinny loudly to the other horses who were all in their stalls nearby. He continued his whinnying insistently until each of the other horses on the farm, and there were many of them, had answered his call, including his little foals. Then he would return to his self ministrations. His owner watched this pattern repeat itself again and again, wondering what all the whinnying was about, as that was certainly not a symptom of colic.
Sometime deep in the night, she drifted off into sleep. In the morning she awoke to find Merlin sipping water, a very good sign. A short while later he nibbled at some hay. As the days and weeks progressed he regained his strength. Miraculously he had somehow unbound his colon that night and survived the ordeal.
Because the owner of the facility offered progressive approaches to rehabilitation for her human clients, her facility typically attracted a variety of alternative practitioners. These sometimes included animal communicators. Just like in any other profession, some animal psychics are good, some are mediocre, and some are extraordinarily gifted. One day, a few years after the colic event, a woman who was an animal communicator came to visit the farm. Her advanced level of skill became immediately evident when she approached Merlin and abruptly stopped several feet away, realizing that she had stepped into his aura. She paused for a moment and then asked his owner, "Who tied his head down?" This had been the abuse that Merlin had suffered long ago at the hands of his former trainer. He had been left for days at a time, in his stall, fighting the tethers that prevented him from raising his head.
With this question, Merlin's owner knew that she had an exceptionally accurate psychic beside her and decided to ask her the question that she had been wondering about for years. She told this woman about the long night when Merlin had nearly died from colic, and about the periodic whinnying. She asked her why the stallion had called to the other horses all night long and why he had waited to resume his thrashing until each one of them had replied.
The animal communicator took a moment to connect with Merlin and received his response. She then told his owner something quite astonishing. She said that the belief, which all of the humans were holding, about his pending death was so strong that it was inhibiting his ability to heal. Their agreement about his demise, which was entered into consciously together, was a strong bond that was preventing him from healing. When he was trumpeting his calls to the other horses and insisting on their responses, he was proclaiming and affirming with them his aliveness, his virility and his strength. And that repeated act was the avenue that allowed him to navigate his way back into life through all of the intertwined webs of agreement that the humans had made, energetically surrounding him, holding him to an impending death.
Our thoughts and worries about others are strong and palpable. They can grip that negative outcome as strongly as a death sentence for a prisoner on death row. Similarly, rumors and gossip about others and our loved ones can seem innocent enough, but from a spiritual perspective, it is good for us to see that they are not. Gossip and worries that we share with others are very like agreements that we enter into. And agreements are binding. They also hold an energetic signature which can affect our collective outcome.
When we have an opinion about someone else and then speak with others about that person, gathering support for our opinion, we are enlisting their aid and getting them to agree about the potential negative stories and disaster scenarios that we are holding for that other person. We do this so we can feel more right and sometimes even righteous about our opinions. But really our opinions are only that, just opinions. In the grander scheme we have no idea about what is really right or really wrong for someone else. The Universe is much too vast and variable to hold any one truth. It is just our little human ego that seeks confirmation for our held thoughts and ideas.
So as Merlin's story reveals, it is wise for us to review these thoughts, feelings and words that we have shared with others and bring them to our full conscious awareness. And if we have entered into a negative agreement about someone else, it is an extremely good idea to consciously and with intention, un-agree, releasing that energetic pattern.
Our world is full of limitless possibilities, miracles happen everyday, spontaneous remissions and epiphanies abound. And this is what happens when we free ourselves in our minds both individually and collectively from the cob-webs of our agreements and preconditioned responses. We can choose instead to heal and release our patterns of gossip, rumor and negative thoughts. We can replace them with images and beliefs associated with the power of the present moment, as Merlin did.
So, here's to freedom. And here's to freeing ourselves to new and more positive possibilities. The time has come for us to become aware of and release our old patterns, those which perpetuate the negative and cause us to hold others hostage with our thoughts. We can proclaim what is right and good, right now, letting go of the past and holding open the future. And as we do, we liberate the tremendous potential that this present moment holds.