I have not always told the truth. The overused white lie is my go-to justification for not hurting feelings, or worse, telling boldfaced lies for a benign convenience. Equines do not traffic in smarmy lies; black or white. When content; they nicker, sleep, graze and stand quietly together. When discontent; they bite, kick, pin ears, elongate nostrils and squeal. Their actions align with what they feel. I have spent too much time and money in workshops to learn this quality that equus possesses naturally: Congruence.
Congruence is an agreement between the head and the heart that is reflected in demeanor, ambiance, and speech. It is an internal state of harmony, and it is the only language equus trusts. This is a very simple way of being but can be difficult to achieve within the labyrinth of complex human relationships. Chief, our mule maestro, often quotes Mark Twain:
If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.
Chief tells me equines are not moralists. They have no ego hangups about who is right, what is right, or what should happen. They accept all of life with an instinctual equanimity. Whew!… I want a dollop of this clarity in my life! Living with the herd on the land we share, osmosis prevails, and hopefully, some equus mentality is rubbing off. In fact, I might be getting a little too direct for polite company. But Chief urges me on towards the freeing light of truth-telling and truth-being. He is a drill sergeant of exacting proportions.