Max is a 6 year old miniature horse. But don’t let his size fool you, it’s just a physical characteristic. I’m sure Max knows he’s physically smaller than the other horses in our herd. They can reach things he can’t, he can walk underneath them if he wanted, and larger horses like Butler and Princess provide some pretty decent shade in the afternoon. One of Max’s other characteristics is that he is deaf. It’s not a problem for him, it simply requires one to consciously engage in different forms of communication.
When Max arrived last week I found myself laughing and giggling at his whinny, the sound of his tiny feet walking on the dirt, the fact that the measurements I use to feed him are different (handfuls instead of pounds), and just how cute he is! I marveled at how two of his hoof prints would fit into one of Butler’s, and try as he might his flirting with Princess would never go to the next stage. Yes, he’s a gelding but a gelding can still flirt!
The first day he was here, while still figuring out how to get his attention and communicate with him, it was necessary to move him into a stall. He didn’t seem to understand the hand motion I was making to walk into the stall. His halter and lead rope were across the yard and not thinking I reached down to physically move him into the stall.
No sooner had I touched him with that intent when the feeling washed over me that this was NOT acceptable to Max. He was not to be moved or handled in that manner just because I could. It was clear that he expected the same respect and consideration of a full size horse. More than the manner in which I touched him, it was the intent with which I did it.
I admit in my hurry to get him where I wanted him to go I figured he was small enough I was just going to move him where I needed. If he were a full size horse the manner in which I attempted to do this would never have worked. It would be the equivalent of trying to move a parked car with only a finger. And so with a larger horse I would have had to engage them more directly to accomplish the task. Once I realized what I’d done I backed up and sincerely apologized.
As all this transpired within me, Max calmly stood there and waited. With this new awareness in mind I approached Max with the same goal in mind, only with a different intent. Once I engaged him and found a way to convey what I wanted to accomplish, he quietly walked into his stall without any resistance or fuss.
The lesson I learned is invaluable and has made a big difference in my relationship with Max. It has also highlighted other areas of my life where similar experiences are happening. This new awareness provided me the opportunity to actively change how I interact with others in these situations.
You’ve likely had similar experiences of this being done to you; physically being moved out of the way by someone bigger, your feelings or emotions not being considered by another, or perhaps not being asked how to accomplish a task that involves you (like me needing to put Max in a stall).
Where might you be allowing another to overpower you in an unacceptable way? This might be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. How can you find your voice or the courage to speak up when this situation occurs? Perhaps like my situation with Max this person, or people, might not be aware of what they are doing, or maybe they are. Regardless, speaking up and clearly stating what is acceptable to you is empowering, and can be for the other person too.
Where might you be doing this to another? How can you create awareness of your actions and make changes to empower all in this situation? It’s amazing how interactions change and relationships grow when awareness and conscious decisions and actions are put into play.
You’ll discover your relationship with yourself and with others will change. How has my relationship with Max changed?
Since that day the dialog between me and Max has moved to a completely different level. Consciously interacting with him is a pleasure, not a chore. It has added more freedom, flexibility and understanding. I’m always finding new ways to love and appreciate him. There is a beautiful creative energy that presents itself when opportunities arise to cooperate. This cooperation is not me always getting my way, but the two of us dancing together in the powerful exchange of give and receive; all the while learning from each other.
Size does matter. Not your physical size, but the size of your presence when standing in your truth and your personal power. For when you stand in your truth and your power your life positively changes!