“be comfortable with your spot in the herd”

I grew up the youngest in a family of 12.  Yes, Irish and yes, Catholic.  We were a tribe of 9 girls and 3 boys and we definitely had a pecking order.  And come to think of it, we still do.  No matter who I am or who I become out here in the big world, when I go back to my family I’m still that same little, scruffy girl tagging along after her older and wiser siblings.


I’ve learned a lot about herd dynamics from being raised in such a large family, but I’ve learned even more about family dynamics from observing the horse herd.  There are the leaders, there are the followers and then there’s everyone else in-between.  But every spot in the horse herd is integral to its survival and well-being.  When the top leader is absent, the next in line steps up and so on.  Isn’t that just what it’s like in a family?

But the joy in it all, is that horses are simply ok with where they are in the herd.  They are not berating themselves for being a follower, when they “should” be taking a leadership role.  They are not second-guessing their relationships as who to is “the most favorite”, or telling themselves they should be a better runner or grazer or herd-mate.

How can we integrate this type of living into our own lives?  Be true to who we are, rejoice in our place in our herd of family, friends and coworkers.  Celebrate our relationships.

Don’t think and analyze and process so much, just be yourself and accept your unique spot in the herd.