This is okay, but what if this changed for the better? I will love myself once I change this aspect. Everything will be good once…
These are all thoughts that run through our heads. In the fix-it quick and make-it-better kind of society we live in, it is hard to appreciate or accept things for the way they are. We are nit-picky perfectors on a mission to eradicate flaws for a pristine image.
But what for?
It’s hard to learn to love things the way they are because we are bombarded with How-tos and this-could-be-yous so we can live in an image instead of the moment. How can we learn to accept the way things are and to be okay with it?
I recently adopted a senior cat and he has a … personality. My new baby loves to eat and does whatever it takes to lick a scrap of food: climbing in trash cans, hopping on counters to rifle through cabinets, swimming in the sink before the last remnants of dinner slide down the drain. Oh, and he tries to steal sandwiches as you’re making them and smacks your face until you give him some attention. These are some of his favorite daily pursuits.
But have you seen him?!
This old boy has been through quite a bit and after 14 years, he isn’t going to change his ways. As frustrating as he may be at times, he has brought a different light to my life. I hope to have the same determination and tenacity in my old age as he does. I hope I can learn to love and show my affections as he does. I hope I can learn to speak my truths as he screams his every time his tummy rumbles.
What he has taught me is that there may be some things we would like to change in our lives or even in other people, but there is a beauty in how things are playing out as they are. I know my life would be a little easier if I didn’t have to shake him out of my bag every morning before he can gobble down a pack of crackers. And I know I would sleep easier without him pawing at me at three in the morning so I can scooch over and let him snuggle on the outside. But he helps me appreciate some smaller things in life – like zippered pouches and cabinet locks. He helps me appreciate the food I am able to eat. I find comfort in knowing that our scenery might change, but we can make the most of it, much as he did when we accepted him into our home.
I may be overthinking it. But I love my trash-digging, cheese-puff loving fiend. And he loves our messy sink and snack-sharing time.
Sometimes someone can be a lot to handle or a situation can seem much worse than it is. I could not have a cat that buried his face in my neck purring or that lays on me and strokes my face while staring deeply into my eyes. I could also have a trash bag that doesn’t have holes in it.
But really, what would you rather have?
It is important to think about the positives in your life and to remind yourself as to why the world is unfolding the way it is. Something always leads to something, so find joy in the journey. You can sit there hoping for the universe to drop a piece of cheese, or you can accept that sometimes you have to take matters into your own hands and steal the cheese from the source – wise words from Pumpy.
At first, I tried to reprimand my kitty by spraying him with water, by tossing him off the counters, and even by trying to ignore him. But his determination just grew. Those difficulties just made the victory of getting that butter wrapping out of the trash all the more sweet. I was trying to change him when he didn’t need to change. Just to be loved and tossed some scraps of food once in a while. Okay, maybe every time I eat, but we’re working on his manners!
We can learn from the issues that bother us, but we also don’t have to fix everything. It might seem like it to you, but to others, it’s not broken. Pumpkin is a wily cat who only has a few years left. So I accepted this and I am going to let him live his best life. Even if that means he’ll sit on the dishwasher and lick the dishes as I put them in or that I can’t use the bathroom by myself ever again.
Some things are worth loving, even if we can’t change them.
Disclaimer: this does not apply to all situations.