Archive for July, 2008
But what if I should discover that the enemy himself is within me, that I myself am the enemy that must be loved – what then?
The shoe that fits one person pinches another; there is no recipe for living that fits all cases.
A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.
Every form of addiction is bad, no matter whether the narcotic be alcohol or morphine or idealism.
Man needs difficulties; they are necessary for health.
The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong.
Beautiful bodies and beautiful personalities rarely go together.
~~ All from Carl Gustav Jung, 1875 – 1961
Here’s the latest photo the breeder sent me of my new baby Rufus. He was outside enjoying playing in the grass and she said she couldn’t resist taking his picture. I can’t wait to bring him home!
I’m getting ready to welcome a new family member into my house! I’m so excited that I just have to share some photos taken of him this morning by the breeder.
His name is Rufus and he’s a registered Blue Merle Standard Collie. Isn’t he adorable? He’s only 5 weeks old and I get to bring him home in three weeks. Don’t worry, there will be lots more about him on this blog soon!
After all is said and done, more is said than done.
Years ago, when I went through my divorce, a friend gave me a mug as a joke. It reads, “The More I Know About Men, The More I Love My Cat.”
Well, it truly was a joke, because I don’t dislike men at all. I prefer to think of it more as saying, “The More I Know About People, The More I Love My Cats.” There’s a big difference.
This morning, while I was enjoying my ritual cup of coffee out of that mug, I got to thinking about cats and how they seem so much more in touch with their spiritual side than most of us humans. (And, yes, I do think animals have a kind of spirit.)
For example, if you think about it, cats practice Zen. They are totally in the present moment, no matter what they are doing. When I scratch one of my cats’ ears or rub his tummy, he purrs and is aware of it completely. You can tell that it’s the only thing in his consciousness at that moment. I am not saying that cats are too feeble minded to think, I’m saying that they effortlessly accept and enjoy each moment as it comes.
When you see a cat, lying contentedly in the sun, they are completely there. They aren’t thinking of the day you forgot to give them fresh water before you left for work and made them drink the same, stale water left over from the night before, they are just enjoying the moment.
That brings up another point, cats (at least my cats, anyway) don’t hold grudges and don’t have hidden agendas. If they have always been treated with love and respect, chances are, they’ll treat others only with love and respect. They’ve gotten a totally undeserved reputation for being sneaky and mysterious, but anyone who has known and loved a cat knows that they are just self-assured and not needy.
They love attention and affection, but don’t have to have it at every possible moment in order to be content. They are also satisfied with just lying in the sun too. Cats are not sneaky, they just don’t play the silly games we expect of them, so many people don’t understand them.
Ok, so I’m simplifying a bit. But the point is that most of the humans I know (including me) could stand to be a little more like cats. We would certainly benefit from living more in the present moment, instead of worrying about the future or agonizing over the past. We should be more able to define ourselves on our own terms instead of using our job, our relationships or our possessions to define us. We should be more able to live without grudges and hidden agendas. We should be able to give love more unconditionally.
So, back to the silly mug. It doesn’t say that I like people any less, it only says that I love my cats all the more when compared to them. They make me appreciate their simplicity of purpose. And I see the opportunity to grow spiritually by trying to follow some of their examples.
These are just some thoughts that came to me while drinking my morning coffee. I hope they give you a moment of pause to consider this concept. And I’d love it if you would leave me a comment to tell me your thoughts about this.
I was going through some old things and found this article I wrote about a year ago on the topic of Forgiveness. When i read it over, I realized that it still holds true, even though the news event that inspired it isn’t recent. Here it is, please let me know what you think:
This morning I was watching the Today Show while I was getting ready for work. There was a segment about the Amish people who just went through a horrifying ordeal with a gunman taking their children hostage and killing them before turning the gun on himself. All in a one-room schoolhouse!
The thing that really struck me and made me think I should write about it was the fact that the Amish people who lost daughters are all preaching forgiveness. The interviewers seemed incredulous about the possibility of forgiving such a terrible act and the loss of their children, but I think I understand what they mean.
Forgiveness is not totally an unselfish act. Forgiveness is a very personal thing we do for ourselves, not for the person we forgive. Absolutely not! In fact, they don’t even have to know they have been forgiven for it to make a difference in our lives.
The thing that others find hard to understand is that when you forgive, you don’t negate the pain you feel, nor do you fail to grieve. You simply decide not to let the anger poison you further.
I’ve had some things happen in my life that were extremely hard to forgive. And until I managed to understand and forgive, it was me who suffered, not them. I was the one losing sleep at night from playing the injustices over in my head. I was the one with the upset stomach from the anger. It was me who got the tension headaches, not the offender. In fact, that person probably slept just fine and had no other ailments as a result of their offenses.
It wasn’t until I figured out that to forgive the hurt inflicted doesn’t mean that I have to feel that it was ok for them to do it, or that I would ever give them the chance to hurt me the same way again. It’s just that as long as I stayed angry, I continued to let them have control over me and hurt me.
It was the hardest lesson I think I’ve ever had to learn, but the most worthwhile. Once I learned to forgive, (and it takes practice and if the offense is big enough, it takes a long time) I learned to deal with my pain and then move on. As long as I had stayed angry, I could not release the pain and move on.
No one says that forgiveness happens immediately, or that it’s easy to do. But if you approach even the most difficult and painful of assaults with an attitude of wanting to forgive (not forget…not to stuff the pain and deny it), you can begin to heal the wounds.
I admire the Amish people who, in the aftermath of such horrific tragedy in their lives, understand the value of learning to forgive. They don’t condone the behavior, they still hurt and grieve the loss, they just choose not to let anger prevent them from beginning to heal.
My deepest sympathies go out to them and to anyone who is suffering a huge loss. And I wish you the gift of forgiveness.