Ever yearned for connection and settled for being needed instead?
Being needed is when your horse nickers to you over the fence, but they are just waiting to be fed! I know Tilly our dog spends more time around us when someone has forgotten to feed her that morning? How often do we show our love by creating delicious meals for our families to feel alone in the kitchen doing it!
Have you settled for just being needed? When I do, it brings out the martyr in me!
Real connection looks very different from attracting someone or something that thinks that you can meet their needs.
Connection is defined as:- a relationship in which a person or thing is linked or associated with something else.
The need to be needed is an individual's sense of significance rooted in the sense of being part of a community or cause beyond themselves. The need to be needed is one of our fundamental desires. We want to feel significant in the eyes of others, even if it is only one other person.
So being needed is about your sense of purpose, but connection is way more powerful than that.
There is a difference when I am truly connected with my horse and much of it is when we become one (this does not have to be when riding him). We are in flow, we are alive and awake to all the possibilities that we can achieve in this state. I am listening to him and he is listening to me. The difference is not just about turning up but more about tuning in.
To achieve this state requires a higher level of presence, a decision. But most of all it means that I am not settling for either my horse just doing as I need in that moment as much as they are not just choosing to settle for getting their food need met.
My horse taught me this when I hadn't seen him for a while and my sons had been feeding him. I walked over to drop the bucket off to an eagerly waiting horse (this horse is like a labrador, he loves being fed), I then went inside the paddock to walk over to the trough to check it, a good 100 metres away.
Boy (my horse) ran over to me, he kept dancing in front of me, preventing me from getting to the trough. He is a huge golden horse, when he dances and rears up in front of me, it is quite scary. I was like, go back to your feed, I am sure you want it. But he kept dancing around me and stopping me. Until I stopped and scratched him and talked to him and created a connection.
I gave him my full and undivided attention and in that moment I was filled with joy.
Through his dance he reminded me what I needed. Both of our needs were met. He reminded me about just how special he is to me and how much our connection is important to both of us.
When I am assisted by the equines (horses) with clients, they have these types of highly profound moments that are long lasting. Healing happens quite simply through the actions of the horses as well as facilitated by our debrief both in a group or individually. Sometimes what years of talk therapy in a clinical practice has not been able to unearth is brought to the surface and dealt with instantly.
True connection brings joy, a brilliance to life that does not come from being needed.
Perhaps you have lost your way in discerning true connection?
Equine therapy helps clarify and cultivate deeper safety around the topic and experience of choosing yourself and the expression of your desires and human needs.