As soon as I reached over Butler’s neck I knew I’d put myself in a precarious position. Butler, Princess and I were all standing very close together; in fact I was sandwiched between the two horses. They’d been eating from a couple of buckets hung on the bottom rail of a fence. It was quiet, the sun was setting, and I was enjoying hanging out with them and watching the quail eating seeds on the ground. Relaxed and comfortable in the space we shared, I reached over to get Butler’s bucket after he’d finished and he’d shifted his attention to the morsels he’d spilled on the ground.
My arm came down on the top of his neck as I stretched for the bucket that was just out of my reach, when the warning sirens started going off in my head. If Butler spooked as I was over his neck he’d likely raise his head and throw me backwards into Princess who was standing behind me. She would also most likely startle and move too. I knew better than this, yet went ahead and did it anyway.
And then something startled the quail. Butler spooked, I felt the power of his neck come up and knock me backwards into Princess who was scrambling to get out of Butler’s way. I hit the ground and held my breath. The whole situation probably lasted 5 seconds or less, yet time slowed down as I saw hooves fly past my head, felt something hit my elbow, and could sense the horses trying not to run over me as I fell to the ground.
After I’d picked myself up and dusted off, made sure everything was intact and working, a big sigh of relief escaped and I was very grateful that the extent of my injuries was a scrapped knee (the kind I’d of been proud of as a tom-boyish kid) and what I was sure was going to be a whopper of a bruise on my elbow. I was even more grateful that the horses were aware enough in their flight to avoid running over the top of me. I can still clearly see the whites of Princesses eyes as she swerved to avoid hitting me.
Reflecting on what had just occurred, I knew what had happened. Butler, Princess, and I spend a lot of time together and we’re very familiar with each other. I was comfortable sharing space with them watching the sunset, and got lazy with my normal caution.
How often do you find yourself in similar situations or relationships that knock you around, take your power, or hurt you in some way? Yet because you’re in your “comfort zone” or familiar with the situation or people you allow yourself to be knocked around. How often do you wish things were different, but because it’s familiar allow the cycle to repeat?
Likely, just like me, your intuition tries to warn you. And like me you may ignore it for whatever reason. Since that night I’ve been much more present and aware in my actions around the horses. I’ve also become more aware of other familiar situations and people in my life where I might feel like I’m getting “knocked around” in some fashion.
Maybe it’s thoughtless or cutting words or remarks, a habit that constantly creates an outcome you don’t want, a belief that controls you, someone treating you poorly, or perhaps even physical abuse. Regardless of where you discover this in your life, you hold the power and the key to stop getting knocked around by the familiar. If it’s something you can change on your own – now’s the time. If it’s something you need help from others – now’s the time.