Got your attention? While I've known for awhile that gratitude is the key to growing positive things in your life, sometimes we forget - whether for a day or many days or even months. Recently, I listened to the audiobook The Power by Rhonda Byrne. She was the author of one of my other favorite books The Secret based off the Law of Attraction. Ah, it seems so simple and do I have news for you...it is. Sorry. I've played with it over and over and it's right on.
So, back to gratitude. Part 1, today's post, will be the first for many to come. You may not even read it but it will be my admission to the Universe that I AM grateful. Here goes.
For as long as I can remember I have always been the one to pick up slack, I've been the "go-to". Need something? I'll be there. Animals need a home? Yep, I'll take them in (or find a home for them). I really could go on but I'll spare you. You can see from my website that I most definitely keep busy but it's hard to admit that you can't do it. You can't keep up with all that you have committed to. It's hard to swallow that pill especially when you've been the one to help others that need help.
I used to help run a horse rescue. When we moved to Virginia, we adopted one of the horses and moved her here. She is beautiful and sweet and ....aging. Oh, an aging horse, that is something I haven't had to work through yet. They need more love and care and it can happen right before your eyes and before you know it, her ribs are showing more than before, her shoulders/withers are bonier than usual, she's moving slower, the other horses are picking on her, and you have a different horse in front of your eyes. That is hard to see.
So you give her more food and you blanket her at night and you save up to pay for massages to ease her aching muscles but you don't see improvement, in fact it seems to be the opposite. You also know in your heart that this isn't something to be chalked up to, "Oh, she's just getting old, that's what old horses do." No, you know that she could look better even for her age but you can't seem to get a handle on it. Enter the deep feeling of failure here: tears, guilt, frustration.
So after too many months of "trying to figure it out", I asked. I looked up to the sky and said, "Please, please help me give her the best life that I can. If I'm not to be her home then please find her the best home. Please because I just want her to be healthy and strong and safe."
Two weeks later through a connection of friends, I found a new farm for her to live only 10 minutes from my home. She's still "mine" (but really she'll never be "mine" - she's her own soul) but she lives with three other horses who dote on her and love and protect her. They take care of her like the others in her past two homes have not. She's accepted. Not only that but immediately she began to gain weight and the sparkle in her eye started to come back. She is on the same amount of food but the difference is stress. (Ah, I'm seeing another blog posting formulating here!)
Even my anxiety level has gone down significantly. I know she's safe and loved and taken care of. I can see her whenever I'd like and I'm responsible for three feedings a week - something that most definitely helps with my hectic, ever-changing schedule. I no longer stress about making sure she's fed each day.
That brings us to Gratitude. Who am I grateful for today? First, I'm grateful for my husband putting up with my anxiety throughout this whole thing and for being my support with her. I'm grateful to the friend who helped me find this new home. I'm grateful for the farm owner for allowing her to come live at her house with open arms. I'm grateful for her new horse friends who watch over her. And last, but certainly not least, I'm so very grateful for the kind, loving soul of the woman who watches over my girl each and every day.
It's hard to admit you can't do it. It's hard to admit that you need help. But it is such a relief. A huge, huge relief. And it's OK that I needed it.
Who are you grateful for today?
Do you have an aging horse? Know you're not alone. They are more work and they do need and deserve extra care. There are people out there willing to help.
If you don't have a horse but are willing to help someone in need? Reach out - it will mean the world. One of my favorite non profits is Traveler's Rest Equine Elders Sanctuary in Virginia. They are always in need of help. It's a beautiful sanctuary for the "Equine Elders"; did you know some of their residents are pushing 40 years old?