I love being with my horse because he doesn’t judge me
Have you heard that before?
Or do you say it yourself?
The feeling like you can show up to your horse in your comfiest clothes, makeup-less face, hair a mess and they will still love you?
The word judgement makes me pause. I used to be so afraid of judgement! I had a super critical dad, who would tell me I’m not eating, breathing, living properly!! With such a disappointed tone of voice, a look of ‘is this your best?’ Not surprisingly, I felt nowhere near at my best. Did I even have a best?
I took this critique with me everywhere I went, well into my adult life! I heard it in others, and I worried about what everyone thought. A lot! Combine that with the very nature of the horse industry (I mean, we ride in front of a JUDGE for goodness sake!) and you might understand there were some issues there for me!!
What I realise by working on this part of me has been 2-fold.
Forgiveness for a man who really really didn’t know any better. We know with stats on mental health that the culture men are expected to adhere to doesn’t invite them to ‘open up’. Even more so for a man growing up in the late ‘50’s I imagine. My dad criticised because he cared. He was probably criticised as a child too.
It’s not about what my dad thinks of me, it's not about what my horse thinks of me. It’s not about what others think of me.
It’s about what I think of me that counts.
Anyone who says to me, they don’t know if anyone likes them, is actually saying “I don’t like me”.
Getting rid of this shite has opened me up to so much more! I really do like helping people. Hurting anyone is never my intention. But also, being myself, holding my own boundaries, not people-pleasing is more important to me than being liked.
I like me.
I accept my mistakes (is it even a thing?!), I accept my faults (I can always improve for me) and I love my life (for me, not you!)
The other part of this? I don’t need to judge YOU either! We are all doing best in this messy thing called life.
If you'd like to work on how YOU feel about YOU, being kinder to yourself and not needing anyone else to validate YOU, I would love to hear from you. The world is so much nicer when you start on the inside.