“Are you looking at me?” photo image by hotash
A few years ago, we had an annoying problem develop with the horses. It would happen at the food table where they ate on rubber mats during the winter. One of them, or some of them, they never let on who, would poop at the end of each meal on every remaining pile of perfectly good hay that would have made a tasty midnight snack. That was six dinner plates, each with a plop of poop placed with such precision that I could swear they used GPS positioning.
At first we thought they were making a rather graphic statement about the hay, but further investigation ruled that out. We tried everything we could think of that fit with our particular way of interacting with the horses. We talked to them about it (as has worked at other times) promising them green pastures in the spring, but the mysterious dinner plate pooping continued. Since it meant extra work for us before each meal and it was spoiling perfectly good hay, we started feeling put upon, exasperated, and downright angry like we humans tend to feel when we think we are dealing with unruly animals!
After this had continued for weeks, with our constant grumbling and mumbling about it, the tension building, and my feeling things I didn’t want to feel about my horses, I had an inspirational thought. It was too obvious to have missed it through the many weeks. But I had. And I suspect the horses finally whispered the reminder, or maybe from their perspective they used megaphones! Since we were well aware that horses are like oversized mirrors in 4-legged disguise reflecting back to us our own issues, we would normally ask ourselves reflective kinds of questions. But, I guess we had forgotten everything we knew and preferred being stuck in our familiar agitations. On a whim, I decided that it was time to reflect, although, quite frankly, my attitude wasn’t the best and I didn’t expect much.
The question I asked while standing near the offending piles was, “In what way am I or someone else “pooping” on my spirit?” I had no clue what the answer would be. But, almost immediately what came to mind like a stage curtain falling down and revealing everything backstage, was a business deal that I was negotiating with a friend. For the first time I was able to see the behind-the-scenes inner workings of the deal and realized I was allowing my friend to take advantage of me.
The next day, I called the deal off, and you guessed it. The pooping on the dinner table pageantry stopped as abruptly as it had started. Poop talks!