Imaginary voices

“Today would be a great day for a ride,” said the voice inside my head. “I think I will ride Chico as he was last ridden by one of the kids and the responsible thing would be to work him out.”

So off I went to ride one of my favorite horses. We walked; he was great. We trotted; he was excellent. The smile of satisfaction was wiped off my face when I looked over and in my mind’s eye I saw Amelia standing there with her hands on her waist with that “you’re not getting away with this” look on her face. “You know you really should canter. After all you decided to let the Hannah canter him and you know he likes to end the day with one of us on his back,” Imaginary Amelia scolded.

Feeling quite cocky I rolled my eyes and took off… it was wonderful. We went back to the walk and trotted again and again we cantered. He was constant, upright and smooth. I was feeling pretty darn accomplished. “One more round,” I thought. So back to the basics and off again… and the third time was NOT a charm. He took off like a bullet and whipped left and right. “Stop!” I yelled, forgetting that oh-so-important word that our horses actually recognize. I was not speaking horse or even English at the time. I was speaking a strange, unidentifiable language that is known as to some as Nonchristianenglish or Expletivish in other cultures. This was an ancient language common among sea men and soldiers.

As I flew around the arena I employed my most excellent horsemanship riding skills (gripping for dear life with my legs and yanking that bit as hard as I can.) and he responded like a text book case…. he lifted his head and went faster. Eventually my fear of hitting the ground overcame my fear of this out of control speed and I sat down in the saddle and took a breath. Well at this point I just wanted to stop him and get off… but I knew he had to give me a nice canter. So he did. I stayed on for five or six laps (or more like two) and then decided it would be best to go out to the obstacle course and work Chico’s mind and regain some of my confidence. After about 5 hours, (more like a half hour), I went back in the arena and we worked on flexing and lateral motion. He was great and I was finished! Until I looked up and there she was! Get out of my head! She was standing there looking at me shaking her head and wagging her finger.

“You know what you have to do,” Imaginary Amelia said.

“Don’t want to. I am done.”

“But HE is not done,” she said.

“No!” I argued, then I looked up and sitting next to Amelia, shaking their heads and wagging their fingers were Dani Wright, Marietta Roby, Kim Owen, Linda Hitzemen and a host of kids in red shirts. So off I went and it was wonderful. Yes I was tense at first but my Imaginary Laura showed up and she gently talked me through. “Breathe,” she said. “Just pretend you are on Birdie.” And that voice in my head calmed me right down and the ride was fabulous.

We cantered for another half hour and I got off and there was my Imaginary Nicole looking at me with that smirk; nothing to say, but I have seen that smirk many times and it was as if to say “I knew you could do this, you can do anything you want on a horse. Girl you know how to ride.” I looked at the host of imaginary people in my mind and shook my head and said “Where the heck were you when I was making out my will in the saddle?” Laura answered, “We were here the whole time but an oversized Imaginary Jeanie was sitting on us and telling us to shut up.”

There it is … the moral of the story is : it is not always the best choice to go with your gut, do as you feel, or follow your heart and sometimes the people who love and care for you have good insight. The most important voice to heed to in your mind and heart is the voice of Christ ( who is not imaginary) and don’t let that oversized version of you sit on Him and try to silence Him.

– Jeanie


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