Last week, I wrote about the common expression to “get back on the horse,” in which I observed that if you get back on the horse while still holding onto the story of how you fell off, you’re likely to fall again.
The horse knows when you’re afraid.
How does the horse know you’re afraid?
Is a horse a mind reader?
Of course not.
The horse is a “body reader.”
The horse feels your body. It feels how you sit on its back, how you hold the reigns, how you squeeze its side with your legs. If feels the vibration of your commands when you speak to it.
The horse knows.
Even if you think your mind is clear, your body is still holding the trauma from falling off the horse.
If you have unprocessed fear in your body — whether from the horse or anything else — the horse will feel it.
The significance of this matters even if you never get on a horse. Our life experience are entrained in our nervous systems and physical bodies. Our bodies hold onto trauma and fear long after our minds have moved on.
This is often overlooked when we discuss working through fear and trauma. Fear is not just about shifting your mindset; you also must retrain your nervous system.
Rewiring fear is as much a physical practice as a mental one.