Navigating Collective Grief
— Laurie Higgins-Kerley
It’s no secret that the energies of our world are afflicted. When children are afraid of the dark, it’s the insidious unseen monster, hiding in wait to get them. We see much the same with COVID-19. In these times, for those in quarantine and/or practicing social distancing, we are forced to face ourselves, which is arguably one of the most difficult parts of life regardless of our global situation. But I’m not here to talk about the intricacies of a virus that we seemingly know little about. I want to talk about the collective grief many are experiencing as a result of this virus and how horses have helped myself, and many others, understand and work through grief.
We are experiencing a collective grief as a result of this virus and the current times.
Horses are honest, transparent, and sensitive creatures that are highly aware of their surroundings. Not only that, horses carry many similarities to humans.
They are honest, transparent, and sensitive creatures who are highly aware of their surroundings. Not only that, horses carry many similarities to humans. Socially, horses define societal roles, prefer to be with their peers, have individual personalities and moods, and enjoy the simplicities of having fun. Unlike us, they do not live in their heads and instead live in tune with their body’s sensory information — what’s going on all around them and the energies moving through them, which include emotions (energy in motion). They do this without panicking, bracing, or trying to fight them. They have the ability to allow what wants to happen in their bodies with grace and ease.
The beauty of horses is not just apparent in their physical attributes, but in their ability to accept us as we are, where we are. They live in the present moment (as do all animals). When I was grieving, the small herd of horses at Dove Creek met me in the here and now, not needing me to be anything different than who I was in that moment. Can you imagine how healing it is to feel no pressure to be anyone else than who you are? Because they are herd animals and also socially intelligent, I felt they were making me a part of their herd as they would take turns coming close and standing with me. They held an authentic space for me, and I began to trust this process. Each time I became more congruent with the truth of my huge emotions — that they just needed to move. And no words were spoken.
Can you imagine how healing it is to feel no pressure to be anyone else than who you are?