a couple of years before my dad passed away, he said to me....
"i think those women who fill their entire lives being devoted to animals are trying to fill a big hole inside."
at the time, my dad was in the beginning stages of dementia. his should say and maybe should not say filters were a bit faulty and i think he thought he was being subtle.
he was not trying to be mean to me..i think he was genuinely worried that i would become the crazy cat lady and he would find that a bit embarrassing for both of us. my dad really did love me (he just wasn't all that into animals.)
anyway...my dad was partially right...some people do use animals to fill a hole..unfortunately i see it time and time again in various ways. what he didn't know and i didn't know how to tell him was...that some of us are so full to overflowing that we have more to give than the average person.
you can tell the difference between the hole fillers and the ones overflowing..the hole fillers are temporary until something better comes forward or are demanding that their own holes get filled first. while the overfullers keep producing more and more to give. it is like runners who start out running that first very challenging mile and as they build their strength and catch their stride, one day they are up to cheerfully running 20 miles in the pouring and freezing rain...and they think it's fun.
people tell me over and over...i don't know how do you do it.
i will tell you the secret..
the more you (happily and freely) give..the more you have to give. the cup eventually running empty is a myth.
it is like breastfeeding..the more you feed the baby, the more milk you have to give.
this is why we can abuse dairy cows for their entire lives...milk is naturally in them to give.
i am pretty sure if i gave my dad the cow analogy, maybe he would have understood?
...or maybe he would have just worried more.
I feel like people who can't give are the ones with the holes. I feel they are so self absorbed they can't find it in their empty hearts to give to animals, or kids, or bears, or mosquito nets etc. My experience is that they will find some reason to justify why they can't give to SOMETHING. Lord knows there are no end of worthy causes, so there IS something for everyone, you just have to open your ears, your eyes and your heart.
And what resonates in my brain all the more is the visibly disabled man at Car Free Day who blatantly told me that old & disabled animals should be destroyed.