I came across this image of a horse being tied to a plastic chair some time ago and I thought it was a great visual of what we sometimes experience – bondage that is nothing more than a figment of our imagination. Perhaps the title of this blog brings back memories of a 70s song titled “A Horse With No Name” but this blog has little to do with the content of that song. The reality is that the horse in this picture has ample strength to easily drag this chair wherever it wants, but the horse erroneously perceives the chair is holding it back. So what contributed to this horse’s faulty perception of bondage? Perhaps this horse was restrained in a truly inescapable situation for so long that it gave up trying to leave, even when it was no longer in that situation. So it’s true restraint is no longer a physical one but a mental one, an emotional one, or a psychological one.
Are any bells ringing here yet in your mind? This horse certainly has a name and I’m wondering if it carries your name. Where did you learn the message that you were powerless to leave an unhealthy situation? Was it the result of being victimized in a situation where you truly had no power? Was it after years of verbal, mental, or physical abuse by a parent? Was it due to a hypercritical parent, spouse or child whose expectations you could never live up to no matter how hard you tried? Just as you learned to be powerless, you can also learn to assert the power you truly possess. The key to changing is realizing that (like the horse) you are not powerless even though you feel powerless. According to Philippians 4:4 in the Bible, you can do “everything through Him who gives you strength” but you must also be willing to take some action. Our failures provide opportunities to evaluate what additional tools we need to become unstuck. I hope you will hang around as we unpack and explore some of these tools in greater detail. I encourage you to look in the mirror and remind yourself daily that change is certainly possible, even for you.