"Every content of the unconscious with which one is not properly related tends to obsess one for it gets us from behind. If you can talk to it you get into relationship with it. You can either be possessed by a content constellated in the unconscious, or you can have a relationship to it. The more one represses it, the more one is affected by it." Marie-Louise von Franze, Redemption Motifs in Fairytales
One of the most potent aspects of Equine Facilitated Healing is the fact that horses pick up on what is in our unconscious and subconscious much more quickly than people can. That which we have repressed, denied or ignored is highlighted by them in their immediate response to us.
The way in which I guide people to "talk to" their unconscious is usually through the Eponaquest Body Scan technique. By dialoguing with one's body you open the way for your unconscious to speak. Fragments of memories, buried trauma, hidden feelings, and desires can begin to reveal themselves.
When you access these parts of yourself, instantly the horses respond differently, it is as if you come fully into view to their wide-cinemascope vision.
By getting into relationship with these aspects of one's self you begin to build a stronger, fuller picture of yourself. No longer shattered into tiny pieces, no longer swinging between different aspects of your persona and your true-self, causing stressful mood swings and decision making to be almost impossible.
People often say to me they find making decisions difficult and don't know which path to follow. Being around horses has taught me to always follow my heart to make decisions and choose a direction. But you can only do this when you can gain access to your own heart.
When a lot of repressed feelings are buried deep inside your heart, asking it for guidance can feel very difficult. Again, using the body scan is a great method to practice speaking with your body and in particular your heart, and for integrating body and soul.
We have to bring that which we are blind to into our conscious awareness so we can sift through it.
Asking ourselves: Is this the real me? Or is it a remnant of my parent's attitude or behaviour I've absorbed? Do I want to nurture and cherish this part of myself? Or do I need to transform this harmful, self-destructive pattern?
How can you tell which it is? Simple, if there's a horse around, ask them. Do they want to be around you or not? Horses come towards us when we are in touch with our heart, feelings, true desires and self-truths; they move or stay away when we are being incongruent, egotistical or false.
If there isn't a horse around then ask yourself this: Does this belief or behaviour harm or heal me? And then begin the hard work of changing the pattern, practising witnessing it, practising not getting hooked into it again and not beating yourself up when you do.
Often our most insidious and most difficult blocks to happiness is that we struggle against ourselves and give ourselves a really hard time. Again, the horses show us great love and support when we can acknowledge our true feelings and needs. When we can let our tears flow in grief and compassion for ourselves; then the real healing begins, and self-love can then follow.
© Angela Dunning, 29 December 2015