Monday 11 February 2013

Leave me alone!

For the past few weeks I have been fusing over Rio's mud fever.  "Mud fever (also known as dew poisoning or pastern dermatitis) is a group of diseases of horses causing irritation and dermatitis in the lower limbs." It is typically just above the hoof but can spread up the leg if it gets severe enough.  Which usually can be observed as scabs under the hair and at times swelling in the ankle and leg.

Mud Fever
 I have done my best to soak and treat these scabs.  I have been told the best treatment is to pick the scabs off, apply an ointment and keep Rio in a dry area.  I have picked and picked and picked but can't seem to get them all.  Rio has been sweet about the whole ordeal.  My focus has been on his left hind leg and the picking  has been quite painful for him.  He picks up his leg and moves away, all in the efforts to escape my new found obsession.  My heart is in the right place but it has caused Rio a fair bit of discomfort.  In all of this though it amazes me that I have not been kicked.  He has the power and freedom to do so, plus the speed and accuracy, yet he has refrained.

The last time I went to see him, I did the usual.  I tried to soak the area and then the picking began.  I was able to get some large pieces of the scab off, but not all.  I was sorry to see his wound begin to bleed yet felt I had no choice but to press on.  

I continued to apply an ointment to the area and noticed that I felt quite disconnected from Rio.  I kept trying to tell him, in my heart, that my intention was good.  Yet it felt like he just wanted to get away from me.

I still had 40mins to spend with him before running home to pick my kids up from school.  I wanted to hop on and ride him.  I also had my camera and wanted to video some more of my interaction with Rio, to share with all of you.  So I decided to ignore the disconnection and the knot in my stomach, and proceed anyways.

When I mounted Rio during the 40 mins, I experience two key things.  The first was his refusal to move forward.  He wouldn't budge an inch.  I asked him to walk forward and back up, but he just would not do it.  I waved my feet and he just turned his ear back at me and remained cemented in place.

I dismounted and brought him back to the mounting block and  tried again.  This time he moved forward but not where I asked him to go.  He walked to the edge of the fence to where all his friends were hanging out.  I felt like he was saying, "Let me go".  I refused and was still determined to video the new things we have learned.

In response to me pressing him to follow through with my request, he did move.  Though again, not where I requested.  He walked under a tree with low branches and stopped.  I was getting poked in many different places and as I tried to work through the tangled mess, branches were breaking all around us.

I did manage to get Rio to back out from under the tree.  I did dismount and yield by releasing him to his buddies.  My time was up and my video clearly wasn't going to boost my ego today.

I shared this with a mentor of mine, concluding that I felt as though I needed to leave the mud fever alone because it was creating a disconnection in my relationship with Rio.  She was happy that I had come to that conclusion on my own because that was were she had intended to guide me.  Not in a neglectful way but just from a place that affirms that there is an issue, I am here to help if you need it, yet I will allow you to fight this infection on your own.

As I reflect, I wonder how often I obsess over the sin in my family.  How often am I picking away at their illness with the best of intentions?  Has this picking created a disconnection between me and my children?  Have I become so lost in the fear that things can only get worse, that I begin to chase after my loved ones, in the hopes that my picking will release the invader?  Have I taken matters into my own hands to avoid the shame that may come when the infection is too big to hide?  Has my ego become bigger than love, that I aim to say just the right thing, to then be awarded credit for the healing?

When is it the right time to acknowledge a sin of a loved one and cease picking?  Can I be present and connected with my children or my former husband and not obsess over the parasite?  Can I let go of my ego and completely give the matter over to God?

Chasing my children around and constantly pointing out their sins and failures is worthy of a kick.  My kids need my time, my love and acceptance.  Yes, improvements can be made.  Yes, we can all strive to do better but at what cost has the Lord asked us to mandate change?  If I am going to obsess over all the ways my family is failing, than why am I surprised that my kids would rather hang out with their friends or pick back at me, causing wounds to bleed.

I want to love my family best.  I don't want to hurt or neglect them.  Although my intentions are good and right, is it fair to say that there is a time when I must let go of my fear and ego, and just allow.  Allow my family to fall so that I can let the mighty hand of God pick them back up.  I think that in my efforts to allow them to fall, I also will fall.  To yield the control, fear and the shame that may arise from these stumbles, may indeed provoke my own infection.  I trust that the mighty hand of God is big enough to pick me up out of the dirt, as He has proven faithful in the past.  So I allow the imperfections within my family to be as they may.  In His strength I put a guard over my mouth and keep my knees bent and cemented in prayer, as I trust the only One who knows the perfect way to pick away at an infected heart.