Monday, January 24, 2011

Are you as happy as your

If you've ever ventured on over to Hoosierland, and into my humble abode, then you've had the pleasure of meeting Clio, my overly affectionate, needy, and unconditionally loving cat.

It looks a little something like this:

"Hi new person!  Pet me!  I lurrrrrrrrrrrve you!  I lurrrrrrrve all peoples!"

In other words, she has absolutely no problem getting in your face and dumping her affection all over you.  No matter who you are.

Cut to last night:  I was listening to Alan Cohen on Hayhouse Radio.  In addition to a plethora of spiritual and inspirational books, he wrote one called "Are You as Happy as Your Dog?" after which he dedicated an entire radio show to this idea.

Towards the end of the program a woman called in about her dog, Yogi, who, like Clio (who I realize is a cat---but I assure you has dog-like tendencies), loves everyone.  As she talked about this, she went on to say how when someone rejects the love little Yogi has to share, instead of taking it personally, he just looks at her like, "Hey.  This person doesn't want to pet me.  What in the world is wrong with THEM?"

Clio, coincidentally, does the same thing.  Alan went on to discuss this and it set off a huge light bulb in my head.  You see, he pointed out that as humans, if we're rejected our first instinct is typically to say, "Hey.  This person doesn't want to get to know me.  What's wrong with ME?"

And so begins this spiral of self-loathing and worry about how something is terribly wrong with who we are and that we're just not good enough.

Well, phooey to that.

Yogi and Clio and likely every animal or pet on this planet are on to something:  Stop taking things so personally.

I've decided that from now on, I'm not going to take personal rejections so personally.  If someone brushes me off or treats me in a way that's unkind or hurtful, I'm not going to look for what's wrong with me.  Instead, I'll just think to myself, "Hey.  I'm a nice person.  You don't like me?  That's just fine.  I like me.  I'm pretty awesome, actually.  A little weird, sure, but awesome nonetheless."

It was pretty eye-opening to make that discovery.

Although, sometimes even animals can be a little, shall we say, aggressive when it comes to humans.  I mean, if Clio gets rejected she'll either try harder or move on to the next person.

But there's also my cat Tabitha, who upon first meeting typically comes at you like this:

"Touch me again and I will eat you, your children, and your children's children!  Rawr!"

This idea of being as happy as your pet isn't foolproof. But Tabitha's a rare breed.  Not to mention the fact that her past (before she came to me) was painful and abusive.

And I'm pretty sure the same holds true for people. There will always be some who are hurtful and nasty, but for the most part we're good.  And we just never know what someone went through or is currently going through that's shaped their attitude or current mood. 

And heck, every night Tabitha cuddles under my chin and shows nothing but love. Everyone has a soft side---some light and goodness within. We just can't take it personally when they don't choose to share it with us right away...or ever.

Additionally however, she might be harboring a landfill in her gum line. Because when she gets close enough, her breath smells like rotting garbage. But that's a blog entry for another day.

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