The woman sitting across from me wears a huge smile. Though we haven’t met before, she greets me with an infectious laugh and self-deprecating joke. Hidden behind her eyes is a deep and profound sorrow. I can see it in the shadows beneath her lashes, in the way her shoulders seem weighted, heavy with the unspoken burdens she carries day in and day out.
As our session begins she remains upbeat and I listen to her story; one of loss and grief and loneliness, a story punctuated by laughter that doesn’t fit with the words she speaks. I hear her sadness, loud and clear.
As her story flows to a stopping point we sit quietly for a moment, her smile still fixed to her face. I wonder if her cheeks hurt from the effort.
Mentally, I note to myself that my horse is on the other side of the pen, ignoring us completely.
I hold her gaze and lean forward, taking her hands in mine.
“Without laughing … tell me again.” I instruct her gently.
She stares at me and for the first time, her brow furrows and the smile drops away, inner conflict etches it’s way across her face. The ear of the horse flicks in our direction.
With a shuddering breath, she tells me her heartbreak again, struggling not to cover her pain with laughter, pushing on and getting through, we slowly weave back through her tale, more detail this time, uncovering the ruins of memories she’s carried in secret for so long.
Her eyes shimmer with tears still unshed, for all her bravery & courage, the simple act of crying is, indeed, far from simple.
The little brown horse has made her way to the side of the pen and stands beside us, her head low as she watches our client intently with large brown eyes.
I ask the woman to step into the pen with the horse. She steps inside and goes to stand in the middle, the little mare observes from the gate.
We continue to speak, the horse continues to observe … I ask the woman to breathe down into her heart and I know she’s there, the mare* steps away from me and goes to stand in front of this lovely, heartbroken soul.
The horse lowers her head to this woman’s feet and begins a slow and thorough sniff all the way from her toes up to her head, they exchange a breath or two, I can see some hesitation from this non-horsewoman being nose to nose with this horse.
Ever so softly, inch by inch, the mare lowers her large muzzle and brings it to rest upon our clients chest, just over her heart. She glances at me, unsure. “What is she saying to you?” I quietly ask her. “What do you feel?”
Emotion rises and wars behind her eyes and finally, the barrier breaks and the tears she’s kept inside begin to fall in a steady stream. Even as the tears plop plop plop onto the face of the mare, she remains still, breathing softly with her nose pressed softly to her clients heart. The spell she has cast lovingly over this woman lingers and stretches on for several minutes.
Finally, the small brown horse steps back and I invite our guest to thank her however she’d like. I’m not surprised to see her step forward and wrap an arm around her new friend’s warm neck for a tender hug.
The woman joins me once more back in our chairs and we wrap up our session. As I look at her I see a subtle shift; she sits with her shoulders squared, a soft sparkle in her eye, a small smile that colors her tone as she expresses her gratitude toward the small gift of love, offered to her by a horse.
*Mare – Female Horse
**All Dark Horse Healing EGCM Sessions are confidential, this story is posted with permission.
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