When people experience trauma, their symptoms may last months or years, with triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions. Today I want to share with you how one of my clients experienced stepping into the constellation field with a horse.
Terrified of not mattering, being abandoned, and cast aside in her relationships, she came to Healing You Sanctuary to begin to heal her traumatic history. We went outside to the round pen and I asked her to build a magic room, a place she could go and feel safe. There were a variety of materials available in the round pen, and I had turned out Saphira, my mare, to provide female companionship. Let me share her experience in her words.
"Being asked to build a place to feel safe felt confusing. I put a chair and a stick and string in the round pen. I thought, "I really don't need anything to feel safe with Saphira." So I just stood, looking at all the other things and decided I needed some support in knowing what was expected. I told myself "I won't be given any expectations as to what to choose, because there are no expectations being placed upon me." I struggled with my inner thoughts and then grabbed three noodles and one hula hoop to make two safe zones; one being the hula hoop and the other being a triangle made from the noodles. Then I went back and got all of the noodles and hula hoops and made a passage that represented the way out. I placed the hula hoops opposite of the passage way interconnected by the noodles. Each of the circles represented a different safe place that I could retreat to if fear arose, and each of these safe places were inter-connected.
I asked Saphira if I could connect with her, but inside I was afraid she would just walk away and leave me, and she did walk away! I was so fearful that she would run away and she actually mirrored my inner world, she lifted her head and began running around the round pen, whinnying loudly, stopping and looking around her and then running and whinnying again. It was really big energy. I could see the other horse had walked into the barn so she could no longer see him, and wondered why he was not responding to her whinny. Then I saw myself in her actions, how she was responding in fear, because she could not see the other horse, is exactly how I have acted or reacted in my relationships. As I named this truth, she slowed down, and then went back to grazing in peace.
Debriefing afterwards, as I was talking about needing safety, Saphira stepped into my hula hoop representing safety. And when I spoke about needing safety in the world, she walked through my path, the passage representing the way out. And, when I named my truth about my fear of my friend leaving, Saphria walked over and nosed me. She "knows" when I speak my truth.
I notice now the story of abandonment has lightened, and I am able to speak my truth without being made wrong or shamed. I am seen, and greeted, and resonated with right where I am at.
What I am taking away from this experience is that I have a new awareness; I can notice projections and choose to let them go and not take them in. I can even notice when I project onto others, and, when this happens, I can name my inner experience so I can be free, living in congruence with my truth.”
That was a powerful session.
Constellation work offers a particular way of looking at questions and the blocks we have in our lives. It is a spatial exploration of a relational question, using different positions, representatives, objects, people or horses to look at how things are connected with one another and where systems might be frozen by entanglements or traumas.
I always marvel how incredible it is that horses support us to remember who we are on our journey home. They can take us to a land that is foreign to most people, a journey into ourselves; an exploration of our mind, body, and spirit connection. Many people may never make this journey in their lifetime, unaware it is possible, while many others rarely make the time to stop and observe their behaviors, thought patterns, or feelings, caught up in the common and too familiar struggle for survival.
Yet, stepping into relationship with Horse, being present in the moment, makes it entirely possible for anyone who chooses to follow them.