I am sipping tea in Oakland, California at 2:45 in the afternoon in my sister’s house. I’m still in my pajamas. I have done very little in the way of productivity today, and have really enjoyed it.
As every mother, business owner, worker of any kind, person living in todays world knows – you have to work for money, and this takes up your time. Self care is a privilege.
I’m blessed to do what I love for work. Though I’m working very hard to organize my life to factor in more time to myself and family, I make a trade off of some freedoms for others- the freedom to follow my life’s passion in exchange for some certainty, predictable income, shaky ground I sometimes walk.
Normally, time off is a burden. Anything I don’t do in that time is an additional load when I get back to work. Fences come down, shoes come off, feed runs out, something gets missed, somebody forgot something- feathers to be smoothed, relationships repaired, work to catch up on.
Telling a person to relax without providing the conditions to enable it is folly.
Now, I’m on the second day of my little mini vacation and feeling the layers of rush, of go, of checking my calendar, of answering emails and messages and text messages and tweets and twitters and carrier pigeons and smoke signals… they are beginning to melt away. I’m starting to breathe a little bit. But it’s taken almost two days to just let go of feeling like there was some work I was missing.
I’m reminded of a horse, a person, and a round pen. I think of watching the horse let go a little bit, and how much the person wants the horse to let them in- to relax, to accept. And how we weedle our way in and become untrustworthy in our want- it’s a selfish demand, wrapped up in a cloak to appear harmless. I want. I want you to trust me, I want you to confide in me, I want to feel like I know what you need-
We can’t make any of those things happen. We can only allow. We can’t tell anyone to relax or let down or trust, we can only be a safe and neutral person nearby.
We can’t make someone relax, but we can take the burden off of them until they trust that they can breathe.
We can’t make the horse let down until the conditions are present to allow for it. We can say all the right things, and have all the right intentions- but if the presentation is a trap, is predatory, is untrustworthy, we are a wolf in sheeps clothes-
Be that person that can plunk down and surrender, and wait. Be that person that is there, every time, and proves they are trustworthy. Be the one that eases the discomfort, that provides some solution. You can’t say I want without giving-
Be that person that needs nothing from the other- that is the lesson in friendship that horses offer us when they saunter over, smelling of warm, musty sweat and thistle, and rest their muzzles on our shoulders- they offer us a place to let down, because there is no want. There is no condition, no push, no “come on, you can confide in me.”
You trust because there is a place for you, a place that has been there, time and time again, for you to nestle into, and let go.