Printed from http://www.bodytalksystem.com//learn/news/article.cfm?id=843 on Apr 12, 2021.
I Love Cats, by Tim Hall
I once heard a man say that the greatest sin is to believe God does not love you. Regardless of my concepts of God, love, me, or sin, I'd imagine that each of us can understand that statement in our own way.
My cat is named Francis. It has never occurred to her for one second that I didn't love her. Her and I have had a few arguments but that bond remains unbreakable. I care for her comfort, concern about her food and water, pet her daily and pretty much let her rule the roost. One thing however, is that she likes to go outside and wander around unsupervised but it's proven to not be in her best interest, from my perspective.
I have a larger view of the world than she does and when she makes a run for it, she does not appreciate the correction. To think that she would interpret that as hatred, malice, abuse and my manipulation of her happiness and wellbeing is just not her reality. Of course she doesn't like to be stopped, but where's the rule that any of us have to like everything all the time? Her reaction is strong in the moment (and understandable actually) but I'd never thought to accuse her of over-reacting.
Love is a word we love to use in all kinds of lovely ways. It is often synonymous with togetherness, unity, wholeness, bonds, etc. Non-loving is associated with hate, separation, broken promises, isolation, etc. Whether we use God, Universe, Innate, Transcendent, Self, Lord, Godhead, Atman, Christ, I had to ask myself, if I believe I'm separate to That, do I believe God does not love me, or that the universe is not supporting me? Am I excluded from universal love even if briefly or partially? Do I act from that perspective where the world could turn against me, if it isn't already? Or from love, and what's the difference when it comes to my reactions to people and situations? What has Francis to teach me?
Francis acts in the moment. No matter how strong her reaction, she never over-reacts. She does not harbor a grudge nor feel slighted and if I asked her I think she'd find the question insulting quite frankly. 'Do I not love?' you she'd meow with a sad stutter? How could I even suspect such a thing of her? And yet, we humans struggle, stress out and barter for a drop of love. It's just so silly.
She is a cat but she does not know she is a cat (a few do, and yes I'm sure yours does, but speaking generally they do not). We humans have self-awareness. We are aware of being human and it is one major distinction between the human and animal kingdom. This self-awareness can be distorted into a misidentification of who we are, which leads to a misunderstanding of relations. From that perspective our actions follow suit and we react sometimes kindly and sometimes cruel, and then we also over-react, which animals do not.
This principle of self-awareness parallels with over-reactions. When Francis gets the wrong idea she gets corrected to her benefit. When I get the wrong idea, am I not worthy of correction? Since she does not have the self-awareness, she cannot therefore have the distorted misidentification nor lose sight of her relationships. Nor does she over-react, yet all humans do.
Over-reactions, on the surface, have the quality of separation, manipulation, abuse, neglect, fear, and hatred at some level and to some degree. To say that it's hard to acknowledge that is an understatement to say the least. This is the place we don't want to go and we avoid it at all costs no matter how ridiculous are the defenses that we build up in an attempt to prove something that has no basis in reality whatsoever.
When our defenses are challenged the over-reaction brings this otherwise unconscious problem to the surface where it can be acknowledged, taken responsibility for, and seen for what it is – a simple mistake. Not a wrong-doing, not a crime, not a disaster, not even a sin, just a mistake. There is no punishment for this mistake. The only punishment is when we punish ourselves by turning our back on the truth trying to defend our position to prove we have not made any mistake. Sure, it's all in the name of avoiding hurt feelings, embarrassment and anguish, but it's also a sign of immature self-awareness.
Although simple to do, it is beyond difficult to see even just the possibility that when we fight the corrections, by struggling against the over-reactions, that we are acting like a victim of separation, and blaming the very thing we say we are seeking. That which we are seeking is also seeking us and when it finds us, it can be a mighty blow to our ego. Unraveling the distortions is as unpleasant as when I have to catch Francis by the tail. Necessary sometimes, but tough love knows no reason to apologize.
Over-reactions cannot be forced to occur nor prevented. They come and cannot be resisted. Love has the same quality. It cannot be demanded or commanded, and resistance is futile. Who could resist themselves? An over-reaction will leave you a changed person because it is an act of love and tough love leaves a scar, and we mistakenly call that character development when it is simply an unlearning of learned characteristics that spring from conditioning.
If the corrections ever stop coming, then it's really time to worry. On the other hand, if over-reactions are abundant, then maybe BreakThrough is for you. This is not about becoming more loving because we are already that love we are seeking. It is about having a shift in perspective from Becoming to Being, from which point we become our own parents, so to speak, and come to the realization that I correct myself. Taking full responsibility includes being self-directed, self-sufficient and self-confident people who are coming more clearly into self-awareness.
A BreakThrough steps process won't even begin until there is an acknowledge of having had an over-reaction. BreakThrough starts with love, proceeds with self-correction, and ends with complete self-love. Even our darkest moments have been permeated by love. It sounds nice to read that and agree, but don't stop there. The revelation is quite another matter and it will have an impact you can never really be fully prepared for. The light shined in the darkness and the darkness perceived it not.
It's all love and it's all about the love.