Detachment from Outcome

By Barbara Janelle M.A.

First Published In Touch, Vol. VI, no. 4, December 1994

Anyone who has practiced TT for a while knows that Centering can be difficult in some situations. Detachment from outcome is one of the most difficult traps to overcome. The following is a case in point.

In mid December, a year ago, for several hours one day I found myself thinking about my friend Ann. I called her and learned that she was at her daughter Cathy’s barn with a very sick horse. I drove there immediately and when I arrived, I berated Ann for not calling me. She replied, “We don’t need to call each other because this link of knowing connects us.” Ann and I often know when the other needs us. We’ll appear on each other’s doorstep wondering what we’re doing there, only to find our immediate presence and help are required.

The horse “Mistral,” was Cathy’s special friend. She’d brought him through a life-threatening problem when he was a foal and they were very close. I’ve known Cathy for many years and she is friend/daughter/sister to me. I was very worried at the thought of Cathy losing the horse and I could not bear the suffering she would go through if the animal died. I was determined the horse would live!

The vet had seen the horse at 2pm and suspected a twisted intestine. This is a very serious condition requiring immediate and costly ($10,000) surgery at the University of Guelph. Few people can afford the surgery and even with it, survival rates are low. Without surgery there is almost no hope and the horse must be euthanized to save him from an agonizing death. The vet and Cathy decided to give the horse some time to be sure that it was indeed a twisted intestine.

I arrived at the barn about 6 p.m. When I asked the horse what was going on, he replied, “What if it were all right if I left?” I said, “No. I cannot accept the pain that would cause Cathy.” All communication between us stopped. When I scanned his energy field, I could feel nothing except a very slight congestion in the flank. My anxiety for the horse and for Cathy was so great that I didn’t realize for several days that Mistral had closed his field to me.

We worked on the horse for hours and several people helped. Continuous massage of the acupuncture points on the ears and regular doses of Bach Flower Rescue Remedy kept the pain at a low level. Even though I tried to work with his energy field for the entire time, I was unable to get any energy reading. I watched-sensed the grounding diminishing from deep roots in the earth to roots three inches long. Nothing that I did with TT worked. The horse was closed to any communication that I attempted. I got nothing more from him and every time I tried to reach him, I hit a silent wall.

We tried everything to help the horse. Even though the pain was kept to a bearable level, his pulse kept rising. The vet returned at 11 pm. He checked Mistral and found that the twist was very evident from the pressure in the intestine and was surprised that the horse was in so little pain. The work on the ears and the rescue remedy had been effective.

Cathy directed the vet to put the horse down. The moment Mistral left his body, quietly, easily, several horses in the barn whinnied–heralding his release.

For days I could not understand what had happened. Finally I wrote about it in my journal and drew the following picture–which brought clarity.

Mistral’s work was finished. In my concern for his owner, I did not honor this. He left, giving me a powerful lesson. Attachment to outcome ignores the being’s own path and takes us away from that quiet inner place from which our work is so effective.


This article should have been titled, “Attachment to Outcome”! Animals (and humans too) have pristine timing in their leaving. We must honour and accept that. –BJ 2/99