You know how it is – it’s your world and when a view that’s contrary to the order of your world as you see it comes into view – BAM! – especially if that outside view directly conflicts with how you see the world fireworks and emotional reactions can ensue – the end result usually and most often being for the better. It could be that this other viewpoint, this other opinion or way of doing things is necessary to shake up your world a bit, to keep you moving or to revamp the path you’re on by building a bridge to a different place. It could be that this new information serves to anchor you more firmly in your world view and lights a fire under you to be more expressive in your world view and sharing your take on things more openly and widely.
Such was my experience this past week when I read on Facebook – I know – of all places – an article on how to get your cat (could be any animal) to like you better. For just a fleeting moment after I read the title of this piece there was a feeling of slight vertigo which I recognized as my emotional rocket boosters being given the launch code and sequence. Deep breathing was necessary and a stern talking-to-self of “now, steady on girl, let’s see what’s underneath this immediate reaction.” That’s a hopeful place for me to be because it tells me that I’m managing my own response while looking for the inherent truth of why I’m reacting which usually can be quite revealing. It also allows me space to craft a response that I may choose to share once I get down to the nugget of why the article, photo, show – any stimulation, really – has gotten under my skin. And thus – this blog today.
The gist of the article was that some cats (not all, mind you and I’m growing weary of cats getting a bad reputation for being aloof) can be not as cuddly or as fond of lap-sitting as their human guardian might wish them to be. The tone of the article was one of trying to inform and educate humans about feline behavior, what to watch for to gauge the cat’s interest in the person, place or thing, etc. That part wasn’t so bad and I’m all for training humans to be more responsive and adaptive to the outward cues from animals be they wild or domestic. The more we understand how they are, inside and out, the better our relationships with them will be and the more we can co-create with them “right relationship” – a balance of the energies involved. The nugget of truth was that there was a judgment in the first place of probably a perfectly wonderful and fabulous animal that was being viewed as “less than” because he/she didn’t conform to a pre-conceived notion of how a cat should be within the confines of a relationship. That seemed to be an objectification of the animal and an attempt to control to meet the needs of the human involved – not a good thing on all counts. Because the emphasis was on having an animal that was outwardly demonstrative and (perhaps reaching on my part) therefore responsive to the emotional needs of the guardian it didn’t seem that achieving right relationship was possible.
Do we as a species believe that others, individual humans, are there solely to meet our needs? A few of us might and I have a hunch that a good majority of us with positive, healthy relationships in our lives recognize that it’s the heart/soul sharing of an open friendship as what sustains us. That it’s the full embrace of each friend’s “special qualities” as being the magical stuff that functions as glue to bind us so tightly to them and them to us. So why do we insist upon our animals being in a Play Doh type of mold and heaven forbid show their own quirks and eccentricities that just might be a good match for our own when their individual states of glory are no less stunningly beautiful than our own?
The next time you have a fleeting thought of “I wish Fluffy would play more with me” or “I wish Fido would run and fetch the ball with me” I invite you to look more closely to discover what unique qualities they have that you might be missing by wishing them to be different. And you may be completely misinterpreting their very profound actions of love toward you by perceiving that it has to be in a certain cuddly package. It’s only by surrendering to the very special traits of animal beings in particular and all beings generally do we have an opportunity to allow ourselves – and them – to be transformed into a whole being made up of parts that fit together just so and be in a balanced right relationship – a very good thing.
Photo credit – My resting cat by Mohammed Mustafa