The Great Escape

Step 1: We admitted we were powerless over the electric fence, that our lives had become just a little TOO manageable.

Hi Friends, Oreo the Goat here,

At the Hope Project farm, the 12 Steps are practiced and used daily as a method of recovery. Working the program and being aware of your character flaws (not sure if I have any), can be one of the key avenues for change and living a happy and productive life – still working on this.

As a goat, much of my unrest comes from the situations and circumstances I wish I could change, but in fact, I have no control over. The reason most of us are here is because we were unable to go through life on life's terms – go with the flow if you will. We wanted to do things our own way, could not take "no" for an answer and now here we are – dealing with the consequences of our actions.

Recently, us goats, were given some freedom while the girls worked very hard in the hot sun to fix our fence. Have you ever been in a situation where you were given an inch and you took a mile?  That was us. Every single one of us. We crossed the line – the line out of the driveway, across the road, straight into the neighbours yard where we ate her flowers, trees and grass. We just could not resist the temptation. I tried to get them to stay! We have perfectly good flowers, trees and grass here I said. One goat made the journey first (cough, Elvis), then another and another until we were all there. It happened so fast – you jump, I jump.

Unfortunately we did not do this just once – we escaped again and again. Pushing the limits of the freedom and trust we had been given – push it real good.

Well, let me tell you, the girls were some mad that day. They had guests and here we were making a scene. Eight ladies with brooms chased us back to the barn. The fence was fixed quite fast after that – we are no longer free-range goats. We sit here, inside the fence, racked by “maybe if we just stayed in our own yard” and “I wish I could go back.” Now we have lots of time to reflect on our actions INSIDE the pasture - dealing with the wreckage of our past.

Let me tell you another thing, being stuck inside this pasture is hard. Here we are on this beautiful farm, with all these delicious leaves, pine needles, grass, flowers and we can’t eat any of them. We are POWERLESS to the confines of this pasture. I mean there is plenty of grass in here for us to eat, but who wants what they have right in front of them…………the grass TRULY looks greener on the other side of the fence.

Those girls up at the house must be working really hard – they know their stuff. They had to sit me down and have a small intervention about my behaviour. Not only has my behaviour affected myself – my energy is affecting the other goats as well. I mean I’m rated 10/10 as a good boy – what happened?!?

I have not been very grateful for what I have lately. How often do I sit back and appreciate the pasture I do have to graze? Have I taken the time to smell the roses? - can't anymore anyway, the good roses are in the neighbours yard, but you know what I mean. PS: I don’t like critiques and it was all Elvis’ fault anyway. Ok, I’m sorry – I used all four of my own legs to go over there too.

The girls said that I need to "get out of myself" and start doing things for others. This will take the focus off my own restlessness and place it into helping others – those other goats need all the help they can get anyway. Apparently I have to “accept the things I cannot change.” I mean most goats don’t get to live on a farm this beautiful, live with seven of their best friends, or have eight fine looking ladies to chase them around the yard. I guess we’re pretty lucky.  

We cannot live in the past “what ifs” and“maybe if I did this”– this only brings our past into the present moment, making it our future and destroying our moment right here and now. We must accept our actions, ask for forgiveness and try to do the next right thing. I’m pretty philosophical for a goat, I know.

I read that a grateful goat is a cheerful goat. Gratitude helps goats feel more positive emotions, appreciate good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity (like your goat siblings) and build strong relationships.

Maybe next time I am feeling restless I can ask my higher power to help me. After all, he is the ultimate protector, healer and is pretty wise I hear.

Just for today, I will take the time to appreciate what I do have. I will realize that there is beauty in the NOW – the moment right in front of me. I will never be happy in the moment if I’m always chasing something else.

Signed, a grateful goat.

Just me saying "Hi" on my way to the neighbours.

Just for today, I will stop and appreciate the rainbows.

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