I spent the rest of my week Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows—and the rest of the past year—returning to this incident and wondering why I had such a strong emotional reaction after only a few minutes of equine therapy. I still am not sure I fully understand, but I do know this—that one brief experience with that horse, drew into sharp focus many of the self-defeating beliefs I have and have always had about myself. It made me realize how often I face a challenge or difficult situation in my life by…
- Assuming that I will fail.
- Assuming that others will be embarrassed on my behalf or ashamed
of me if they see me failing.
- Assuming that showing emotion equals failure.
- Assuming that others will not understand if I need help.
- Assuming that others will not forgive me if I need help.
- Assuming that needing help equals failure.
I wish I could tell you that these realizations have eliminated all the fear of being vulnerable I’ve carried with me throughout my life—a fear that I think is closely tied to my bouts with depression. But, as they often say Rio Retreat Center at The Meadows, “It’s a process.”