One day I was listening to someone I know who is going through a life situation I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I’ll spare you the details; they’re pretty ugly. The icing on this is that she is also (still) under the belief that she has to be Wonder Woman at all times, in order to be taken seriously, to be loved, to just live her life, etc.
But to her, right now, her biggest issues is that her dog is dying of cancer.
She asked me, as I know she’s asked the rest of her peers, ‘what am I supposed to do’?
At the time, I told her that I didn’t know..and that, for the time being anyway, was truth enough, and delivered with as much love and sensitivity as I could muster up. Because I knew what *I* would do in that situation. Which is probably not something she wants to –or can–hear. 🙁
Far be it from me to make a quick comeback that, in a nutshell, tells her to invest in some waterproof makeup, pull herself together, walk away from the BS she’s facing and put the poor dog (who has 2 feet in the grave and the other 2 on a banana peel) down..and then get rancidly drunk and cry herself to sleep. For everything. Then pack in some tissues, take a drive in the car to a private spot..*then* cry.
That conversation required sensitivity; it just wasn’t the time nor the place for anything that could be viewed as a slap..even though what I wanted to say was true enough and I’ve actually done it myself. Just..not when it came to my last dog.
My last dog..well..I flooded a vet’s office with tears, cried behind my sunglasses all over 3 counties behind the wheel of a school bus full of kids..and that was before I went home and got drunk and cried some more. *ahem* Anyway..
Later that night, post-conversation, I got to thinking about that question in a broader sense of the words used. As one does.
What are we, as pet owners (and as people!) ‘supposed to do’ when faced with difficult situations, or difficult decisions? What the hell *do* you say when you want to tell the truth in a way that’s accurate but could be seen as insensitive?…
…and is ‘what we’re supposed to do’ necessarily the right thing, or is it the thing we think will garner the approval of the people around us?
How many of us, when faced with a problem such as a difficult interpersonal situation or a really hard situation with a pet choose ‘what they’re supposed to do’ based on the values, actions and expected reactions of the people around them..whether or not those values really work for them? And whether or not they really care about the expected (which may or may not be the actual) reaction of people around them?
We as humans are given this thing called ‘free will’ and with that, comes the power of choices. And we use that power every day..from what to wear, what to have for breakfast, etc. and whether or not to flood the vet’s office with tears when we assist a pet OTRB.
But for the most part, we let our habits (be they good, bad, or indifferent) or our fears of..whatever..rule our lives instead of considering what is actually the best thing to do and acting from that place. And we watch other people do the same, as a sort of culturally accepted, quiet insanity..saying nothing when the truth will hurt..or hurt as much as it heals.
Daily, I interact with many many pet owners who are beautiful, funny, intelligent and just plain outstanding. But they either just don’t see it, or refuse to honor it, because it’s practically a demand from within the people around them that they slap on a set of blinders to their own wisdom, and instead, seek counsel..repeatedly, from those with similar sets of wisdom blinders on.
I propose that we as pet owners, connected to a different sort of truth than non pet owners are (we know our pets probably won’t outlive us, for example), start finding a way to lovingly communicate truth to each other. Even when it hurts. And view it..as another side of Love.