The Healing Horse, Ch. 34, Scene 5: Radical Acceptance

seagulls flying in blue sky

In this scene, young Karen learns an important lesson. That she can accept herself, her disabilities, and her limitations without giving up her goal of living a normal life. Click this link to learn more, and then enjoy reading this scene.

(Image by Secretlondon, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

Scene 5: Radical Acceptance

At the end of the month, time had passed, and the weather had warmed into summer heat, but Karen still struggled with the castanets. She put them into the pocket of her shorts and walked to the ranch. Pegasus stood under a tree, out of the sun.

She laid her strong right arm around his neck. “Hello boy.”

“Kitten, I hear sadness in your voice. Want to tell me about it?”

“Remember the castanets Gilberto gave me when school got out? You were sure I could learn. Mama thought I might. She said give it a month. And I have for at least an hour a day for a month. My dance steps are better, but not the castanets. I guess it’s time to give up.”

Her magical horse looked into the distance and watched the seagulls wheel in the blue sky over Santa Monica Bay. “No, that’s not giving up. You tried for a month, and you tried hard.”

“One hundred and fifty percent.”

“And you can strengthen your hand with Miss Kimiko’s therapy. You don’t have to use castanets. They did not work out for you. So, you did not give up.”

“But what about living a normal life?”

“Most normal lives do not include castanets.”

Karen laughed as she recognized the wisdom in this. “I can live a normal life. I just have to take my disabilities into account.”

“Yes. It’s called radical acceptance.”

“What will you do with the castanets? Give them back to Gilberto?”

“No, I will hang them on the wall above my bed as a reminder to accept myself as I am.”


She wasn’t sure what he meant. “Perfect? Me?”

“Yes. You are perfect exactly as you are, and that’s the perfect place for those castanets.”

Original text ©2023 by Karen Lynn-Chlup. All rights reserved.


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