Happy Valentine's Day! What a wonderful day to celebrate and toast the wonderful relationship between animals and humans! People, at least those people in my immediate world, love animals and will do anything and everything they can for them. They have their animal pal's best interests at heart: the best medical care they can provide, the best diet, treats, toys, quality and quantity time spent with their beloved animal family. The love that lucky animal receives from her/his human family is enormous. Our love is not only demonstrated through the hugs and caresses that are showered upon the animal, but that which is expressed through those incomparable acts of kindness, care and solicitude.
When an animal comes into the lives of those who love, honor and respect animals, we take it seriously. Whether we think the Universe has purposefully placed the animal in our care as part of a spiritual relationship to have with the animal or we are simply good humanitarians, we commit to that animal, a commitment often usually includes the either spoken or unspoken oath: "'til death do us part".
But what happens when we are simply a way station on the animal's journey and "'til death do us part" is simply not a part of the equation?
The Animals That Pass Through Our Lives
Sometimes, even with our best intentions and the best vetting out process in place, some of the animals that come into our lives are there for only a short time and they end up passing quietly through our life. The relationship we end up having with them is not 'forever and ever, amen', but one where we become a stopping point on their journey through life.
This is so difficult for us animal lovers and protectors. It goes against the grain of our hopes, not to mention our morals. Because of that we may try to force the situation so we can care for the animal according to our preconception of the animal's needs and wants.
But what happens when we look at the situation from the animal's point of view?
Just like us, animals have their own desires, wishes and plans.When we humans superimpose our preconceived notions of relationship upon the animal, we are unintentionally hindering their life and their life goals.
Sometimes, in our relationship with animals, we must love them enough to let them pass through our life.
I know that will sound cruel to some who may feel cast into the light of bad caretakers by that statement. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we do this, we are actually honoring the animal, treating them as a sentient soul instead of casting them into the role of a weak, subservient being who survives only through our intrinsic skills of care taking.
Stop, breathe. Take a moment and think of the turtle crossing a busy road. We don't want the turtle injured or killed, so with all good intentions, we pick the turtle up and and place her/him on the same side of the road from where they were coming. We leave; the turtle begins to cross the road again. Why? Their goal is to get to the other side. The best way we can help the turtle is to carry them across the road, in the direction they were heading.
Loving and Letting Go
In writing this, it is my intent to honor the animals that come into our lives, not to sound calloused, indifferent or inhumane.
As a matter of fact, this podcast tells a true story of one of my feline clients finding his new home last year on Valentine's Day! And as good as this story was at the time of writing it's even better now. EVERYONE, regardless of species, is truly happy and has been able to settle into the life that they were truly meant to live.
Some things to remember should you become the way station for an animal to pass through:
You are honoring that animal in a way that is not common to us humans, and that is not to be made light of
You are loving the animal enough to allow them to be who they are, and love is never to be underestimated
You are playing a part that is vital for the animal, and one that is far above and beyond our human agenda
As you step into this place of loving the animal enough to let her/him pass through your life, be sure to take good care of yourself. What you're doing in caring for the animal is out of the ordinary, therefore out of the ordinary self care is essential.
If you are in this position, it is not necessary that you do it by yourself. Support and encouragement can make it easier on you. I urge you to reach out for help from someone who has been there before and understands all that you're experiencing. Whether this is a friend, family member or a professional like myself, supportive and well-qualified help can make all the difference in the world to you and the animal you're helping.
If you would like my help, I am happy to help you help the animal. Set up a free discovery call, let’s see what’s going on and how I can help you.
Here's To New Beginnings,