Working through Animal Spirit on Tolerance and Forgiveness


“The remarkable thing is that we really love our neighbor as ourselves: we do unto others as we do unto ourselves. We hate others when we hate ourselves. We are tolerant toward others when we tolerate ourselves. We forgive others when we forgive ourselves. We are prone to sacrifice others when we are ready to sacrifice ourselves.”  – Eric Hoffer

Animals are wonderful teachers. The down side is – they are wonderful teachers. Through them, we see our talents and our faults and they don’t make a big deal about either. Each new day seems to bring a fresh start. Pets are also much easier to forgive than human companions. And that is part of what they are here to teach.

The difference in the forgiveness process with the human companion is the added hurdle of emotional drama/trauma. And we expect a human to “know better.” That creates complications. It is not only their baggage (as determined by us) we have to let go of. We have to drop our own.

Forgiveness is not about grading, comparing or marking a chart for signs of improvement. It is saying what happened is done. It is over. It does not exist. From this day we go forward. The only thing equal to forgiveness is amnesia. Some days I pray for that. It is a lot less work. Live and learn. No matter how long you live, there will always be more to know … and to learn. It would be nice if that meant there would also be less personal baggage to forgive.

For comfort, inspiration, and comic relief, I rely on my pets and others. They never fail. Here is proof fish breath can be very, very attractive. Watch the turtle and the cat. Maybe the point is – with the right bait anything is possible.

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