Recently a friend and I were working with her horse. Doing something her horse had done before, and wanting to perfect it. As the day progressed there were a couple of instances when the horse pulled back and decided he was done with our plans and going elsewhere. The horse did this to each of us that morning.
In talking afterward, my friend shared that when the horse pulled back she became afraid and held on tighter to the lead rope, not wanting the horse to get loose or pull away from her. I too experienced a moment when the horse pulled back, where I quickly realized I was outweighed by a thousand pounds and had to let go. Each of us had the gut reaction to hold tightly onto the rope for a moment to see if the horse would settle down. Sometimes they do. However that day, we each had to let go of the rope. And guess what happened? As soon as the pressure was released from the rope the horse took a couple of steps and then quieted down and stood there.
Driving home I realized this was a good analogy of what we sometimes do in life. When something in life pulls back and threatens to leave us or change we often tighten our grip. Sometimes to our detriment we hold on so tightly we’re pulled along, and the experience becomes painful or unbearable. Remember the cartoon scenes where someone is drug across the ground behind a horse tightly holding onto a rope yelling “STOP!” or “WHOA!”, yet, doesn’t let go. Kind of crazy, huh?
What if instead of holding on so tightly we let go of the rope? Yes, it’s true, sometimes the proverbial horse will continue running away never to be seen again. Yet, like my friend and I experienced, sometimes the horse will move a couple feet away and stop. Then you get to decide whether you want to go pick up the rope again or walk away and let the horse be.
What are you hanging on to so tightly in life that it’s become painful or makes you unhappy? It may take courage to let go, and if you do what would happen? How might life change for the better when you stop getting drug along and get to make a new choice?