Wisdom from our black mare


A Lesson From Ms. Shug:
As a lawyer, “Joe” felt bleak and hopeless, burdened with his job and his role in life. He was ashamed enjoying practicing law. He came to Equinection to explore taking on another profession in order to be comfortable with himself. He chose to work with Ms. Shug, a big horse who is uber-sure of herself and loves people. Joe believed that creativity could only be expressed through art and was convinced that his true calling was to be an artist. Giving up law would make a better life for him and allow him to be a better person.
My background in the arts made me think Joe was on the right track. This is where the horses, in this case it was Ms Shug) come in to help me convey truth over my perception.
As it turned out, the fire in Joe’s belly was for law, not art. The smoke that covered this flame, was a preconceived notion that lawyers are selfish and uncaring, but artists are good hearted and creative people.
Ms. Shug had a different understanding. As Joe related stories about his practice and concern for the law, Shug perked up her ears and showed interest in getting to know Joe. When he spoke about his desire to become an artist, the mare would keep her distance and show no interest in him whatsoever.
When he talked about law school, the big black mare lumbered over to him and dropped her head and shoved him forward. Initially, Joe thought she wanted him to stop talking about the dreaded profession.
As time went on, he realized Shug was saying, “embrace your profession, accept what you love, and move on.” (She does have very strong opinions)
Joe expected to find support for leaving the law. What we learned is that selfish desire comes in many forms, but anything that smacks of shame is most likely smoke that hides wisdom and light.
Ms. Shug’s wisdom for Joe, and maybe for others too is: Allow joy its power to guide you to truth.