Neither of my parents fully understood even when I was very young, that I was bound and determined to have horses in my life — up close and personal every day, no matter what — for the entirety of my time on the planet. They would make comments about me outgrowing “it” like a pair of shoes.
Mysteriously, in my very cells was born this potent draw to all horses. As a young girl, I used the physical laws of the universe to align myself with horses. The laws of energy in the universe had been taught to me like fairy tales were told to other girls. I personalized it more than my father had done or said . . . I took it to mean it was important to control the energy of my thoughts.
My father would speak of cause and effect, referring to a formation of chemistry as an example to me. But in my own translation of what he was saying, I was applying it to my own understanding that it was therefore important to keep my thoughts sure and positive as my cause so the effect would be a horse! Even in the face of my parents saying “no way” to my owning a horse, I knew I had to be absolutely sure that it was happening. I chose to stay clear in my vision of what was to be and never to question that it would be so. “It is” has always been my mantra, not “I hope.”
My father was a consulting Engineer for Texas Instruments located in Dallas. He loved his trips to Dallas as he was a graduate and PhD from Texas A&M and had friends there. He would travel there about once a month. Some of his friends were the members of the Morgan family who had a daughter my age, Mary. A few times, when I was eight, I got to fly with my dad to see her.
She was the luckiest of all the girls I knew when I was eight. She lived on a ranch and had two Shetland ponies! We would play house and Barbie and such for hours while patiently waiting until her mom would ask her older brother to saddle the ponies for us to ride.
I cannot find the words to describe how commonplace it was for Mary and how over the top it was for me. Mary’s grandmother lived on the next property and there was a well-worn trail between the houses that these ponies knew by heart. As a child, it seemed a long and super fun ride. I adored the smell of the creaky leather saddle and watching the ponies find their way. We would tie them up at her grandparents’ tie rail and go inside to have a snack. Then mounting up with her grandma’s help we’d ride the precious ponies, who seemed so large to me, back home to their corral. Naturally, they walked over to Grandma’s and jogged back with Mary showing me how to not let them go faster than the jog when going home.
As an adult I returned on my own to visit Mary’s parents. I wanted to thank them for the wonderful visits I had there as a child. Their marriage was a loving one and I soaked up the contrast of the peace in that home compared to my own. The ponies had both passed on. What I remember most was how different the size of everything was now through my adult eyes. The miles I thought we had ridden on the vast ranch when I was eight were actually a trail across one five-acre property to the adjoining five acres!
Perspective is everything and I understood standing there that day how memories of a childhood can be so highly impressionable and stay with us for a lifetime, even if the adults around us see them as minor events. Events to a child are not minor even when they may seem insignificant to the adults around them. This is foremost in my mind as I work with clients today who are remembering happy ones or traumatic ones.
Traumatic events which may be only slightly similar to previous events during one’s lifetime, can cause us to go into a reactive state years later as an adult.
This is most commonly outside of the person’s awareness. Maybe someone says to them, “You’re over reacting,” and the person wonders why but yet recognizes that reacting is what they’re feeling. Where we would normally have a quiet calm response to someone or something, we are actually triggered and have a reactivity to it. Again, the old memory is not in their awareness associated to this.
The good news? This does not in any way take years of therapy to change or correct. It takes only a few professional EGCMethod sessions to clear up and move forward with responses rather than reactions.