Psychic View: Lessons from a Poodle
By Marjorie Young
Years ago, I had a simple but unforgettable experience while visiting family in San Francisco. Out for a walk, I spotted a neighbor with his dog…a large, very beautiful black poodle. Admiring it, I all at once observed it had only three legs! The owner explained one limb had been amputated due to cancer; that the surgery had occurred only a few days before.
I was amazed as well as inspired. The animal had taken the event perfectly in stride, indeed behaving as if nothing extraordinary had occurred; making due superbly - happily accepting of its condition, tail wagging and eyes bright.
This was a lesson I took to heart. How much suffering we inflict upon ourselves with fretting, anticipation, and self-consciousness! Of course, that poodle was not burdened with supporting a family, driving a car, or other responsibilities humans would face. Moreover, we only have two legs, as opposed to the canine’s four. But it was that dog’s acceptance of what was as opposed to what had been or might be that earned my admiration.
We humans can torture ourselves more relentlessly than terrorist experts. “What if” begins, then continues relentlessly. “What if people don’t accept me? What if they laugh? What if they pity? What if I can’t do the things I used to….?” Instead, we should take a breath, count our blessings, and get on with life with renewed determination.
It is not only dramatic physical challenges that get in our way. We may obsess over comparatively trivial matters concerning out appearance. Our waistline, our hair, cellulite, wrinkles, increasing or reducing the size of body parts - the list is endless. Women tend to do this more often than men, I believe, but both genders certainly indulge.
How different our lives would be (and, by extension, the world!) if we focused instead on things that truly matter: our minds, our hearts, our talents, the capacity to develop ourselves and serve others. As a feminist, I sometimes believe the enormous emphasis on appearance for females is a method to keep us from fulfilling our true gifts. Look at the governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie. Hugely overweight (which is unhealthy, of course) he is nonetheless massively popular and it known as a gutsy (pun intended) leader. Try to imagine a female politician who weighed three hundred pounds! Probably wouldn’t even happen. But it took even a brilliant, accomplished woman like Hillary Clinton until her final months as Secretary of State to declare she no longer cared about her hairstyle…if she wanted to (finally) wear a ponytail, leave off the make-up, and wear glasses, so be it!
Hopefully, we can endeavor against becoming side-tracked by physical limitations, real or imagined. The beloved actor Michael J. Fox was stricken with the tremors of Parkinson’s Disease. He accepted what life handed him, molding it to his will, and his career continues to flourish. We should strive to do likewise, focusing on what ultimately enhances life and its meaning.
I look forward to your comments and questions. Please email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Marjorie is available for readings at the Ballard Sunday Market, her Ballard home, or by phone. Please visit her fantasy/adventure series website: http://www.theboywithgoldeneyes.com/
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