.....and he will drink when he is thirsty.
Ever struggle with trying to get someone to do what you want them to do? Wouldn't the world be easier if the darn "horse" would just drink!? But maybe the horse isn't thirsty, maybe he is angry and wants to get back at you, maybe he is afraid of what is lurking in the water, maybe the last time he drank it tasted bad, maybe he can't see the water, maybe he is too tired to drink. Whatever the reason the horse IS the one who decides to drink. We may think we are getting him to drink, by pressure, fear-mongering, enticement, education or other means, but in the end he drinks when he chooses.
This applies to many things in my life as both the horse and the leader of the horse. I'll share a few and maybe it will ring true to you too.
Kids - trying to get them to get ready in the morning is HARD! They don't want to get out of there cozy beds - especially after a snow day and the last day before spring break. We have employed many tactics: yelling, threatening, enticing, cajoling, etc. Today I let them decide (with a few parameters) and suffer the consequences. The car was leaving at 7:35 and they were welcome to come as they were or figure out how to get to school on their own. It was a 50/50 successful attempt. They got it together in the last 5 minutes and it took all I had not to prompt them to do all their morning tasks. We left at 7:37 - I caved by 2 minutes. But I was proud they stepped up and they were the ones stressing not me.
Husbands - In this situation, I am the horse. I have been a little off my game lately, in a funk, blue, introspective, call it what you will, but I just want to cuddle up with a blanket, read a book and step off the merry-go-round that is life right now. He keeps trying to "cheer me up", which I understand is well intentioned, but I feel like he is pushing my head in the water to make me drink from the happiness bucket and I am just not thirsty! His 'cheering' actually has the opposite effect and makes me pull harder in the other direction. No one likes to feel manipulated; we all just want to be understood. Stop pushing. I'll promise I will get thirsty on my own.
Diabetes - about three weeks into my new CGM (continuous glucose monitor - it is a little device that is inserted into the skin/fat on my tummy - reads glucose every 5 minutes and sends it to my pump so I can evaluate which way my blood sugars are trending and manage them more closely). I know I should be grateful for the technology that allows this life giving information to be provided to me, but I really want to toss the thing out the window. Because it reads every 5 minutes, I have more alarms going off (beeps, buzzes, tweets and bells oh my!) to "help" me manage. I know this is a good thing, but it has turned the disease that I have embraced for so long into a proper "pain in my ASS"! Before CGM, I had a routine, all was well, and I was content. You could rightfully say ignorance is bliss. To be fair, it isn't the device that is the trouble, it is the emotions in me it brings out - frustration, fear, self-pity, anger, and others I haven't been able to name yet. I feel the educated side of my brain pushing me to "drink" and the emotional side saying "stop pushing, I want to go back to my safe routine". I am hopeful this internal tug of war will play out, I can work through the emotions and get back to normal. I keep taking deep breaths. Let Go. Let God.
If you are pushing your horse to drink - stop it. Connect with their emotions, understand why they won’t drink and give them back control.
If someone is pushing your head under water – explain why you don’t want to drink, ask them to back off and know you have the ultimate control. Drink when you are thirsty.