As the mercury rises, so do tensions in our household between the two cats in residence. Feline screams, hisses and growls cover the sound of overworked box fans, and the scent of urine neutralizer often permeates the heavy, humid air. While I do hope to find a loving home for one of them, I am reminded that the girls have at least this lesson left to teach.
it is easy to treat with kindness those who return the favor. It brings joy to receive pay back, or witness a good deed paid forward, but what about when our compassion is met with more fear, snarls, and vitriol?
It is not easy to master ourselves, to resist meeting aggression with our own anger. Is it not a far deeper measure of love, to view aggressive acts as impersonal, and carry on with tender care? And how is this accomplished, without secretly marinating in a stew of our own resentment?
So far, the only practice that has come close to answering this question is Reiki, an energetic healing system I employ in addition to traditional veterinary care. Through attempting to heal the mental, emotional and even physical imbalances that may be causing these outbursts, I have begun to let go of deeply held notions about the relationship between cat and…uh, roommate.
For example, we all have our own life paths to walk, be we two-legged or four. I was convinced that it was a great injustice to remove either cat from their ‘forever home’ into another’s care, the result being that both human and feline have muddled through for five years now. Is it not more unfair, to force these two to endure ech other for the sake of my arrogance, as if I were the only one out there who could provide them with a loving home? Through Reiki, this impersonal, universally benevolent energy, I have come to recognize the joy I may have denied the girls, due to my own stubbornness. Through attempting to heal them, I have begun to heal myself as well. With each session, the slurry of anger, resentment, hopelessness and angst recedes. Perhaps if I keep going, i might attain that genuine, calm warmth that permeates many vet techs and spiritual teachers alike, so that I may see beyond the aggression, into that deeper, softer place that cries for help.
So kudos to all the gentle warriors out there, the ones who fight the good fight, within and without, to those who meet fear with grace, the heroes of the peaceful, outstretched hand, thank you. You are one in a million, and though those of us who need your care most may not say it, you are greatly appreciated.
May love guide you always.