Now I understand. Wonderful
. But what do you think - can this healing process happen slowly too or should there always be some sudden and huge turning point? Sometimes it can be seen how a horse opens himself to you piece by piece when the time goes by. Does that mean that he has not healed yet?
Anneli, as a Reiki Master I believe that healing occurs in its own time and at its own pace. Previous to the episode that I described Gouch had been stuck in a sort of limbo, once the break through came he was able to begin the healing process and I think this is an on going thing.
Hi Anneli and Eileen!
I think Eileen is absolutely right, based on my experiences with Stardust.
We have had definite "light bulb" moments where he's started to process things differently, but it's like peeling the layers off an onion in many ways. For a long time I kept waiting for the "he is healed, he is better, he is 'normal' now" moment, and I finally have realized that isn't a helpful way for me to think about him. (At least for us; other people and horses could have very different experiences.)
But, for Stardust and me, what instead seems to be working is simply having the goal of each day being as joyful and connected as it can, given what we're both feeling at the moment. This has been very freeing for both of us, I think, as I'm not hovering over him waiting for the enormous sign to go on saying "everything is done now! all better!" and he doesn't have to deal with me hovering over him looking for that!
In the depth psychology tradition (Jung, Hillman, etc.), which is my academic field, there is a very different approach to working through the things that are difficult in our lives than clinical psychology. Clinical psychology often has the "cure it, work through it, banish it" model -- in depth psychology, the idea is that whatever experiences that we have had, good or bad, are a part of our psyche, and that learning to understand and embrace what has happened to us is a more helpful model. We incorporate our experiences into our sense of selves, rather than try to rid ourselves of the hard stuff.
(There is a lovely book by Thomas Moore called Care of the Soul
that works this idea beautifully and accessibly, if it interests you. One of my favorites.)
I don't know that I can ever ask Stardust to "embrace" what has happened to him over the course of his life, as we don't have a way to talk about it, but this has helped me to think about his old traumas and sorrows as something that will in all likelihood be a part of his memory always. For me, his healing comes when he steps out of his expectations of how the world is going to treat him based on those experiences, and instead, is able to be with me, experiencing and anticipating pleasure rather than pain. He has come a long, long way with this! And most days, I see a little bit more openness about it, as another day goes by that he is happy.
He had severe physical and emotional trauma for a lot of years, so we've had a lot to work through. He is so much better! Is he "healed?" I don't think so, and I don't know if he ever will be in a finite way. Maybe there will be a day when I realize that all of his old stuff is gone, but four years plus in, that hasn't happened yet, and I'm not fixated on it. We just deal with where we are each day.
This may be less true of a horse who has suffered but who was released from that suffering faster, I don't know!
Hope this is helpful!