Emotional Fitness - My Responsibility, Not Yours

This recent weekend was the biggest event of the year for Parelli - the capstone to a fantastic season of riding, playing with horses, and self improvement - the Summit!  Can I just say wow? It was so wonderful to see what a proper foundation will bring you as you advance your horsemanship in any savvy as well as seeing how important the right foundation is in horse-human partnerships for simple yet important things like safety.  There was a wonderful problem horse/student makeover that clearly demonstrated how the Parelli program promotes safety, understanding, and fun.  I know everyone took something away from those two sessions - it's all about the little things, simple things done well.

One thing this weekend highlighted for me was the current standing of my emotional fitness.  I found myself all over the map - overwhelmed with happiness, tension, shyness, at times frustration, and inspiration!  So much for a right brain introvert to handle while surrounded by a 1000+ people, at least half of whom I would like to impress.

When I first did my Humanality report a few years ago I was shocked and horrified to find out I was a right brain introvert (RBI).  Those are the socially awkward, shy, weak, emotional people.  No one likes the RBIs, they're not fun, they're not outgoing, they don't do parties, big social gatherings, they're tense and stressed, and misunderstood... and - oh my gosh - it turned out to totally be me.  With that said, I would like to now retract my statement that no one likes RBIs, but that's how I felt at the time, because truly that's how I felt about myself.  I wasn't okay and therefore no one else was either.  Eventually I came around to the idea that I was innately an RBI and that it was okay.  Now that I accepted it about myself it seemed so should everyone else, especially anyone that knows anything about the Humanalities.  Be Gentle With Me dammit!  I couldn't figure out why everyone wasn't going out of their way to treat me like an RBI... don't push me, give me time, don't rush me, let me be, don't invite me to hang out with you and surprise me with 5 other people at your house too!  My job was done, I figured out that I was an RBI, more importantly finally got around to accepting that about myself, and now part was over.  Well done little RBI - you took initiative, you got uncomfortable, you survived, and you learned something.  Right?

Wrong.  What I failed to realize is now that I had a better understanding of who I was and what my emotional needs were it was MY responsibility to OWN that about myself.  I can still honor my needs as an RBI but it doesn't mean I get to hide in them.

An example of this that really helped me understand the importance of owning my own behavior and emotional fitness came into focus when there was a misunderstanding between me and a very good friend of mine that lives in Utah.  A third person intentionally tried to create distance in our friendship by sharing information that wasn't true in a way that was very hurtful to me.  Because my feelings were hurt, my trust broken, and I was confused I pulled away.  I am not a good phone person - I don't like taking phone calls and rarely call people back (something I am now seeing, OWNING, and changing about myself), so calling to talk about it seemed like it was out of the question.  It was very easy for me to ignore the situation, the people involved, and not communicate - all the while feeling overwhelmed and trapped in various emotions.  Thankfully my good friend did not stop reaching out to me and we finally got to see each other again at the Summit.  She was more than understanding of my need to pull away, forgave me for it, and we moved on once the role of the third person had been clarified in the demise of our friendship.

I just assumed she and everyone else would understand what I was going through, I think I nearly expected pity!   Talk about taking the "be gentle with me" slogan much too far.  I was the victim here! Or so I was feeling.

I want to clarify the difference here in my emotional and mental fitnesses - I felt a certain way but KNEW I should certainly act a different way.  I knew I should be proactive, just make that phone call, don't wallow in doubt and self esteem issues, just DO something, anything!  I knew that would help create an open line of communication but my FEELINGS were so strong in the opposite direction they overrode all other actual wisdom.

Thankfully my friend did not give up on our friendship, she took responsibility of herself (an extrovert) and didn't harass me, she respected my need for time, all the while letting me know she was ready to talk when I was.  She handled this with grace and poise and really helped me understand the error of my ways.  It is up to me to take the initiative to start becoming more CENTERED.  Isn't that what we do with our horses?  We help them by acknowledging who they are and then treating them appropriately all the while encouraging them to not go to the extreme of their Horsenality?  To seek relaxation and confidence in the center of the profile?  It is up to me to allow the world around me to happen without judgement and fear and confusion as to why everyone isn't being gentle with me - it's up to me to do whatever it is that I need as an RBI to feel good about myself and subsequntly others around me.

Parelli teaches us again and again about principles, purpose, responsibility, feel, timing, and balance - if we can learn to apply these to ourselves, especially in regards to emotional fitness we will all be better for it.

A quiet moment with my horse, the kind I like best :)