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Live Like an Animal... Learn to Forgive

 
 By Mindy L. Hitchcock


The human spirit is indeed a wonderful thing, awesome and magnificent in many ways. But when it comes to forgiveness, I think that humans need to learn to be more like animals.

 We have cats. I should say, we started with one, and she had kittens, and then had more kittens. Now we have five cats, that live indoors and out. They are beautiful, healthy cats, of varying generations.

 

I watch them, and see how they behave with each other. They love to play, and sometimes the play gets so rough they actually tear each other's fur out! A short while later, I give one a bath, and the other spends an hour, licking him dry. Then they fall asleep, with their arms around each other. They show not the slightest sign of animosity for wounds earlier inflicted.

 

They are the same in their relationship with us. We live in Michigan, and it's been bitterly cold this year. Sometimes, the "five cat thing" gets a bit much, so we let some of them out. Often, they sit at the window and stare at us, wanting to come in. Sometimes they wait for a long time.

 

But no matter how long the wait, the moment they come in, everything is fine. There is no glare of resentment, for being kept waiting. No pouting, growling, or sulking. Until they come in, they sit and wait. And when they reenter, they are just glad to be in. When they are fed, they are glad to eat. They don't waste a second being angry because they had to wait.

 

Some people might explain to me that cats are just not smart enough to hold a grudge, or have "hurt feelings." When I think of how many illnesses are caused by hidden resentment, how many vindictive actions people take because they refuse to forget what someone "did" to them, and how many relationships are destroyed by hanging on to a grudge, I really have to wonder just how smart that is.

 

Cats, like most of the "other" animals, live in the moment. The past has no meaning to them, because it is gone. And they don't even need to forgive, because they recognize there is nothing to forgive. There is only here, and now. And that, my friends, is the sum total of all the wisdom we will ever need to be happy.