Here’s a thought I’d like to share…
“You can’t hold it against him for how his life has been.”~Buck Brannaman (a horse whisperer from the movie Buck) said this to the owner of a scared and aggressive, orphaned horse.
Buck Brannaman is the man that inspired the movie “The Horse Whisperer.” He is a gentleman that was raised by a violent father, and by his own words, Buck understands what its like to be literally scared for your life.
While watching Buck, a documentary about Buck Brannaman’s life, I was struck by the poignancy of “you can’t hold it against him for how his life has been.” A horse owner wanted to blame her horse for being wild and aggressive, while Buck, with his clear seeing and gentle understanding, knew that finding fault and being angry with the horse was going to do no good. In fact, Buck could see that the owner’s attitude was creating an increase in unwanted behaviors and emotions in both the horse and the owner.
Isn’t it amazing how true this same dynamic is in any relationship! Holding something against someone does nothing to further growth, increase understanding, or promote positive change. It’s like saying, “You’re wrong. I refuse to see it any other way and I’m not going to interact with you without reminding you that you’re wrong.” How useful is that? Basically, it’s like being unwilling to forgive. Caroline Myss says, “By far the strongest poison to the human spirit is the inability to forgive oneself or another person. It disables a person’s emotional resources.”
When Buck says, “You can’t hold it against him for how his life has been,” he’s saying that you have to put aside blame and work with what is in front of you right now. This applies equally to ourselves as it does to others. That’s not to say that actions don’t have consequences, that we don’t have to be accountable, or that we should be doormats to others’ actions. Instead, it speaks to releasing blame and wisely using your emotional resources. Clear seeing and being in the present moment are so much more important than whose fault it is or what circumstances made it the way it is.
Because Buck meets each horse that he works with right where the horse is, without making assumptions, labeling or pre-judging, he is able to do amazing things in a very short amount of time. In this area, Buck is a truly enlightened individual. He allowed his incredibly difficult childhood to reveal his gift of “whispering to horses.” He’s a prime example of not holding against himself the hard, cold circumstances of his younger life. He was able to move forward, make changes, and come to know and value his deepest gifts. Knowing his gifts enables him to access the gifts of the horses with which he works. That makes it a win/win situation.
Might we all be so brave, and so gentle that we can…
- Look at what’s directly in front of us, rather than looking at ourselves or others through the veil of the past.
- Enable emotional resources – in ourselves and in others.
- Look for gifts – our own and those of others.
- Forgive – ourselves and others.
Wishing you whisperings of understanding,