Meredith came to Montana for a reset. As it has for all of us, life had worn her down this past year. She is a successful and determined woman, with a masterpiece of a heart. I am better after knowing her. She showed up at my round pen not knowing what to expect. “I told someone in passing what I was doing with you and their advice to me was to not google anything, so I didn’t!” She later reported that it was the perfect advice, as it allowed her to show up with an open heart. Meredith connected with the horses immediately and jumped right in on session one. Luther softly encouraged her as she navigated all that was on her heart. It was beautiful. We both cried. She left with a new direction and deeper understanding of the inner workings of her heart.
I could write separate, moving blogs on each of our sessions, but I have a day job and a toddler, so I’ll be brief. Session 2, Rio took to the work like a dream (his first time!). He blew me out of the water, helping Meredith come to her most pure, underlying truth. Her natural defenses (the good kind, that keep us surviving through the hard stuff) tried to fool us a few times; not Rio. He stood firm and gently rerouted her to a neuro pathway that was congruent with her soul.
Session 3 of 3 Meredith showed up excited. “I feel like a kid on Christmas morning when I come here”, she said to me as we began. We had already worked through so much in the few short days we had spent together. “Before we get started, I have a question”, she said. “In our last session, you used the word needy [as a descriptor]. I don’t think you meant it in a negative way, but it feels negative to me.” “Great!”, I replied (after confirming that I did not mean it in a negative sense), we headed straight for the round pen. Rio helped Meredith process the word needy- what it meant to her, how it showed up in her life, how she enjoyed being needed, but it was hard for her to need in return. She realized that deep down, she did not feel valuable if she was needy. We explored where she felt the idea of having needs in her body. Her heart was hurting and her arms were tight. Rio responded to these feelings (called somatic responses) and supported her as she sifted through how avoiding being needy has shaped her life. Meredith began to understand that she could not give continually without getting her needs met. She recognized patterns in her life where needing was discouraged and being the cup feeler gave purpose and pride.
I believe all humans can relate with this phenomenon on some level. Needing is hard and vulnerable. But it feels so good to help others! Yay for helping. But also, your cup has to be filled in order to pour into another. What a simple concept but a hard reality.
We were able to travel through events in Meredith’s life that revealed this pattern. Meredith adopted to a new appreciation and compassion for herself. She is truly a radiant person inside and out and I’m so happy for her. She glowed at the end of our session. She felt lighter. The tightness in her arms was gone and her heart soared. I felt these changes in my body too.
That’s a lot of ground we covered in an hour and a half!
For reference, ‘needy’ was the only word I could come up with to describe the part of herself that desired relationship and connection. I still can’t come up with a better one. When I googled synonyms, the results were cringe worthy: deprived, disadvantaged, destitute, poor, to name a few. ‘Scuse me google, your word is poorly represented. Needy is not shameful! Needy is normal! To need is to be human. Our needs matter.