Barbed Beliefs

shallow focus photo of barbed wire

Photo by Linz Franciz on

“I feel like I’m a burden to them.  Like they don’t want me around.  I don’t want to be a burden.  I don’t want to be someone they don’t want to be around or that they just tolerate because they are too nice not to…”  Her voice trailed off as the tears quietly fell from her young eyes.  My heart ached as I stood in the Colorado sun on the opposite side of the round pen.  Quietly I asked her, “Is it fair to say that no child, teen, young adult, person, should ever feel like a burden to those who care for them?”  She searched my eyes for a long time before she shrugged her shoulders.  She’d felt like a burden for so long that it was foreign to even consider that what I was asking might be possible.  “I do not experience you as a burden.  Are you able to hear me as I make that statement to you?  Are you able to receive that as I share it with you?”  The anguished tears she’d been fighting back stole the opportunity to escape.  As she stared long and hard at me, I watched as the copper penny colored gelding walked in toward her.  “What did you just feel?  The thought that you just had, where did you feel it?”  I asked.  The gelding now standing next to her, his heart aligned with her heart.  She smiled through her tears and said, “I liked what you said.  That you don’t experience me as a burden.”  I smiled back at her through my own tears, “Sit with that girl.  Soak up that feeling.” 

He stood stoically in the round pen, eyes hidden behind his black aviator sunglasses, looking at the word, “Burden“, he’d written out on a sticky note and stuck to the mirror.  As the internal wrestling match raged between his head and his heart, I watched as the sweet, chocolate colored gelding stood quietly, holding space for him.  The gelding, completely tuned in to the long standing pain we were tapping into, offered his steady presence as a source of comfort for the man.  Over and over throughout his life he’d been told he was a burden and over and over throughout his life he’d received and accepted it as his truth.  He identified with it, it had become a part of who he saw himself to be.  “I don’t think I’ve ever said any of this out loud before.”  He said, breaking the connected silence between us.  “I’ve only said these things to myself …”  His voice fading as the emotion that came up threatened to overwhelm him.  The sweet gelding turned his head, looking intently at the man with ears pricked forward and deep amber eyes searching his soul.

I felt a tinge in my heart as the urge to hug him tight washed over me.  It wasn’t the man that needed the tight hug so much as it was the little boy in him who was told he was a burden over and over again, repeatedly reinforced by the one person that was supposed to love him unconditionally.  I took a deep breath, allowing my training to take over.  “Jess, you are trained to sit with pain.  Trust the process.  Don’t interrupt it.”, I reminded myself without a word being uttered.  I was the one to break the silence this time as I said to him, “I know this is uncomfortable.  If you are able to, allow yourself to sit with the emotion that is coming up.  There is no shame in tears that are asking to be shed.”  He nodded his head and the gelding turned to face him, fully engaged.

Like the sting from a cut smartly placed by the barb of a barbed wire fence, feeling like we’re burdening those we love is painful and the knowledge that we have been and/or that we are a burden can become part of a deafening tape that plays in our head leaving a person feeling like a failure, unworthy, worthless, and otherwise in some way, unlovable.  Joyce Meyer says, “Some people are hurting so bad that they can’t hear you when you say Jesus loves you, you have to show it to them.”  So many people are hurting so badly and have been hurt so deeply that the idea that they can be loved, valued and needed makes little to no sense.  The tape that plays on repeat in their head drowns out the love that we try to pour into them.

“I don’t believe it’s always fair to pull out these deeply rooted introjects, these things that someone has spoken over us and we’ve taken hold of as if they were ours to own, in an abrupt manner.  There are times that these things, these words spoken, are such a part of who we think we are that yanking them out by the root can be slightly terrifying.  So let’s gently work at the roots of this.  Are you game for that?”  He nodded his head and as he did, the gelding took a step toward him.

There are things that others have put on us as children, teens, young adults or mature adults that we’ve received as cold hard fact about ourselves without any facts or real time data to back it up.  Maybe you work 80 hours a week, go home and clean, cook, do yard work and yet believe you are lazy because someone has told you that at some point in your life.  Maybe you have multiple degrees, and can figure out complex issues and yet you believe you are stupid because somewhere along the line, someone told you that you were stupid.  Maybe, you have spent your life pushing yourself to win awards and accolades, accumulating wealth and material possessions in an attempt to prove your worth to the world after being told that you are worthless and would never amount to anything.  The list of things we believe about ourselves that are actually contradictory to who we really are is inexhaustible!  What if I told you that there is a way to root out those beliefs that you’ve carried with you, possibly your entire life, that are not yours to own and shed them once and for always?  I have a horse for that 😉

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“YOU are powerful, beautiful, brilliant & brave”  ❤