We are given gifts probably thousands of times a day- a visitation from a little bird, a strangers smile, a cat rubbing up against our legs, the laughter of our children, our horses endless generosity. Each day is sprinkled with them, and we often miss many, or discount them.
Gift giving, inherently, is not a transactional experience. These occurrences mentioned happen just because you’re alive. They’re your reward for simply being. Certainly, the more you pay attention to them, the more positively you engage with the world, the more of them you recieve, but they are not transactional. They simply are.
Probably everyone has experienced someone giving a gift and expected something in return. We’ve all heard the words, “after all I’ve done for you!” spewed at us with resentment. We feel stressed during the holidays because if someone gives us a gift, we owe them back. The endless human exchange of owing, measuring worth, tracking debt is a depleting and counter productive spiral –
And it shows up with our horses.
Whether we admit it or not,
We wait quietly with them to calm down because we want something- something owed us for our patience.
We feed and care for the rescue because we want something – accolades, admiration, a perfect relationship the horse owes us for saving them.
We work toward the rehab, the abuse case, the scared horse, and somewhere deep down, we feel we are owed.
After all I’ve done for you! We think, when they trot away, kick at us, break the fence, won’t get in the trailer.
The horse is giving us gifts 100 or more times a day. The sound of their breath, their company, their beautiful shape trotting across the field, happily standing at the mounting block, fulfilling our requests, even though they were muddy and unclear to the horse, simply getting along with us in some capacity every day is a damn miracle.
But when we live in transactional mindset, we are perpetually owed, and the world is in debt to us. We look for more to be happy, show me a sign? As if the world and our horses were not showing us signs a million times over.
And in our entitlement and uncharitable hearts, we miss them, and we miss out on the true joy of giving for giving sake, without being owed a thing.