Mostly because they don't like a fidgety rider on their backs, so they will do anything to calm the rider down. Follow the rider's command to turn left, no problem. The ride continues with relative ease, until the horse is once again instructed to make another move.
Unlike humans, animals make their way through the world using this finely-tuned guidance system: the ability to listen—and then act on—the subtle cues that signal us to “turn around,” “sit still,” or “proceed.”
That's just how our soul's work. It is the “rider on our backs” who sees our path from an elevated vantage point. It instructs us to turn right, or continue straight, or make a U-turn with subtle cues and quiet messages in the form of our own intuition. Sadly, we often ignore these messages, usually getting ourselves in a heap of trouble because we fail to listen to that quiet, but persistent, “that doesn't seem right” feeling, or that“Oh, my God! I must do this!” excitement.
We've all been there. Have you ever ignored an intuitive “hit” that later turned out to be right, but to your detriment? Have you done something based on “just a hunch”? Or have you done something completely out of character, and it turned out to be the perfect solution?
Our inner voice is quietly—and constantly—beckoning us to listen, but most of us have been conditioned to ignore it, as I did many, many times. It just seemed too hokey to believe that whatever my intuition was trying to tell me was real.
Because it was typically the complete opposite of what sounded “right” or “rational” to my logical-thinking left brain. But that's precisely when we need to listen more carefully, especially in an addictive relationship.
Those of us who choose addicts have learned to stop paying attention to the clues around us. The niggling voices, hunches, and stirrings still happen, but we have been conditioned to shoo them away like annoying flies. Worse yet, our intuition has been denied by those around us since we were barely old enough to talk, so we learned to deny it, too.
We've also stopped paying attention to our needs, our desires, and our body's signals that tell us we are on a wrong—or detrimental—path. We become so obsessed with an addict and his addiction that we don't hear the constant chatter, warning us of impending doom.
But when we ignore the whispers, those warnings become more diligent and louder, until some form of drama has no option but to careen right into our lives, shouting to whomever will listen. Chaos, disorder, heartbreak, or some kind of pain is usually the sign when we finally pay attention and realize that something is amiss.
So why is it so damn difficult to pay attention to the clues “the rider on our backs” is trying to get us to see?
Because the directions given usually require that we take huge leaps of faith and follow paths that often don't make sense. And most of us are not able to leap into the unknown without lots and lots of proof that “it” will work out.
It's at this point—when our minds tell us how crazy it is to move cross-country, or how irresponsible it is to quit the job, or how silly to think something is wrong in our marriage—that we deny our intuition. We stop believing that it's possible to make changes that would ignite our soul, or lead us onto an easier, safer path.
How long before your divorce did you know that something was not quite right in your marriage? Or when you felt the lump in your breast, did you “just know” it was cancer? On a happy note, what told you on your first date that “She was the One”?
If you're ready to stop the rider on your back from its constant fidgeting, pay attention to it by seeking its answers. Figure out what it's trying to tell you--
Then follow those directions with all the faith and guts you can muster.