In my younger years, I had no time for cats. They were so unpredictable, independent and often indifferent to me. I used to take offense to such behavior, always comparing them to dogs, who’d easily lavish me with love, follow my training and were overjoyed to see me.
Over the years, and sporadically I must admit, I’ve practiced self awareness, and am continually on the life long journey of self improvement. With this being the case, I’ve come to realize the more I’m able to surrender control of things I cannot control, I’ve come to love and appreciate cats for who they are. Love them on their terms, learning to respect their boundaries and understanding that I don’t have to always understand everything to love them as they are. To my surprise, I now see how my attitude about cats over the years parallels my opinions of people.
Expecting others to meet my standards, continuously being disappointed, and finding myself in disbelief that they wouldn’t want to be the way I think they should be. Im amazed at how unfairly I’ve held onto expectations of how people should be. I now know I have choices, and make my own decisions, as do others. I’m a learning to walk my own path, and to stop telling others how to walk theirs.
I also feel as though my acceptance of others has given me the freedom to be more accepting of myself. I can now give myself permission to be more true to myself, my feelings and my needs. Where once I was always focused on doing for others at my expense, I can now see there is a space where I can do what is best for me. Making a place for myself where I feel safe, being ok with not always making other happy or giving them everything they ask, at my expense. I no longer take on unnecessary responsibilities that do not belong to me, or take offense when my advice is given and not taken, I see now, I’ve been trying to control the actions of a cat.
Is it possible that learning to love a cat has made me more accepting of people just how they are, not how I think they should be? Why yes, I do believe it is. Of course along the way I’ve had others hold a mirror up to my attitude, highlighting the error of my ways. But I do believe, as I grow spiritually, the unrealistic expectations and judgments I’ve made of others have begun to fade away.