top of page


PC: Sunflower Blooms Photography

I love learning. I’m also a people pleaser. I love being an uplifter… making people smile, being the good student… I love seeing the good in others. I also tend to go into things with an open heart, and I am very trusting and forgiving by nature.

Recently I decided to leave a relationship that wasn’t serving my highest good. A decision that gave me a bit of anxiety because we live in a world where we are taught that networking and “who you know” is so important, that we become afraid to speak our truth for fear of damaging connections or “burning bridges.”

For months, my desire to learn tried to smother out the fact that the person I was engaging with was brilliant yet incongruent with their words and teachings. Where I should have been feeling inspiration, I was feeling the need to shut the fuck up and keep my head down. I didn’t feel safe… I found myself often in conversations carefully selecting every word I spoke, as to not cause an upset as I was tip toeing around my truth. I found myself making decisions out of angst and pressure rather than from excitement and inspiration.

I was in a state of learned helplessness.

I had entered an agreement, and I felt like I had no way out. Everything I had been internalizing for months was about to spill out in an instant, torn between the decision to listen to my inner guidance system or smother it for the sake of those who are counting on me to succeed.

You know what’s invigorating? I chose to say NO. THIS IS NOT OKAY.

No amount of knowledge (or association) is worth shutting down your inner being and setting your morals aside. There is always a way to learn something without compromising your values.

For the first time in my life I spoke my truth, regardless of the potential consequences. I set boundaries.

Of course, my words were met with resistance, and toxic sludge filled my screen. Words that were meant to belittle, demean, and upset me only further validated my reasons for leaving.

I say all this to say:

You get back the energy that you put out. I also realize that I am responsible for my emotions, not anyone else. What others do or say will no longer hold the weight they once did. I have friends who are encouraging and uplifting, and who inspire me to be a better human every day.

But… the biggest GIFT out of all of this…

Experiencing learned helplessness for myself.

Understanding what it felt like, the anxiety it brought me throughout my relationship with this person. The feeling in my stomach during our interactions, the space in my mind our interactions consumed.

I now had this insane realization about how horses feel when they CAN’T SAY NO. When they don’t feel like they have a choice. When they literally choose to shut the fuck up, because it’s easier than speaking their truth.

That’s intense… you guys.

How often do we send this message to the horses we interact with?!

Think about it… think of what the horses are hearing…

  • Who are smacked when they pin their ears or nip during grooming or saddling.

  • Who are pushed through resistance and reluctance to perform.

  • Who are held down and sprayed with fly spray when they try to back away.

  • When you go to kiss them and they turn away, and you do it anyway, that matters too.

  • When you try to mount and they step away and you don’t change the subject.

  • When your horse doesn’t want to get on the trailer and you will not accept no for an answer.

Think about how helpless it would make you feel if you lost the ability to say no, and remember it when you’re interacting with others, but especially with those who don’t have obvious voices.

There is beauty in contrast, my friends. We learn more together every day.


bottom of page