Drop the Reins and Enjoy the Ride

Drop the Reins and Enjoy the Ride

February 22, 2017 0 By Juliet Elizabeth Petersen

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I’m sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve been in the process of moving and it has taken every last ounce of my time and energy to get everything packed and organized. But now that I’m settled in, I wanted to write about some advice my good friend gave to me the night before my big move.

Drop the Reins


When I suggested the idea of packing up and leaving town, my parents believed that it was unsafe for my little junker car to make the drive from Arizona to Utah. They decided to pull it by trailer and make the journey with me.

Now that I look back on it, it was so sweet and definitely something they didn’t have to do, but my independent heart hated the idea in the moment. Thoughts like, what would people think of me or I would look like such a brat kept running around in my head.

When I told my friend this, she just gave me this look and said, “Drop the reins.”

My good friend is a country girl at heart and knows that I am too. Her words struck home.

While horseback riding, there’s a temptation to tighten your grip on the reins when you feel nervous or helpless. It’s easy to tense up and try to take control of the situation. However, when you do that, it can agitate your horse. This leads to a bad situation potentially getting worse.

It’s why my instructor always told me to count to four when I breathed so I could relax. When I relaxed, the situation became calmer and I rode more confidently.

Anyways, when my friend said that, I felt caught. I could just feel my cheeks burning up and I stumbled to find something else to say.

She was right

I was trying to take control of a situation and be strong when I didn’t have to. My parents were doing something nice for me. I didn’t have to be so high and mighty about it.

I probably could have stuffed everything in my car and made the drive. My Saturn Ion might’ve been just fine. Except, coming up with my parents grew to be a blessing.

When I got to Utah, I realized that I had no idea where my apartment was. I struggled to contact the girl whose room I was moving into. It became a bit of a fiasco that I had also come a day earlier and forgot to let my roommates know.

Anyways, thankfully, my parents had smart phones so I could quickly message people in order to get the help I needed. Without them, I probably would’ve been stranded. (I’m still saving up for my own smart phone :P)

Also, how sweet of it was for my mom and dad to take the time off to make sure I was taken care of? A lot of people don’t have both their parents around and, even if they do, they may not be willing or able to drive their child to another state. The action made me feel helpless, but it truly was a service on their part.

And it just made me think.

How many times have I wanted to take the reins?


And how often has that denied someone the opportunity to serve and help me?

We were put in this life together in order to help each other grow. If people were meant to be alone, we would’ve been placed individually on our own planet, but that’s not the way things are.

We were placed here to connect and serve one another. Sometimes I get so worked up about wanting to be by myself and living on my own that I forget the importance of the relationships in my life.

In my search to be strong and alone, I leave myself open to a great deal of pain.


As Master Oogway said in Kung Fu Panda, “My old friend, the panda will never fulfill his destiny and you, yours, until you let go of the illusion of control.”

When I drop the reins and turn to those closest to me, it gives me strength. As I open my heart, others are able to come in and buoy me up. Life’s always a give and take or a balancing act.

I’m so grateful that my parents were willing to make that drive for me. I’m so grateful for the wonderful people in my life who give me the advice that I need to be better.

I would not be who I am today if not for them.


What about you? What’s helped you to drop the reins in your life? How has that experience changed or taught you?

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As always, thanks for reading and have a blessed day!