every time someone new comes here...human or animal. it is a calculated risk. everyone is an unknown, everyone has their own baggage from the life they have lived. there are things that can be let go of..like anger, hurt feelings, suspicion, competition, resentment and fear. and there are things that can't be..they are just too deeply imbedded, too much a part of the intrinsic personality that comes here.
it is the potential that I look for. that possibility that someone will want to try to fit in here. I can't have dogs who are driven to mindless violence from whatever reason inside. they can't be hurting or destroying the rights, safety or peace of others. I can't have staff who allow the animals to suffer while seeking a paycheque or volunteers creating chaos and dissention to push their self image or agenda to the front of the line.
it just doesn't work well here.
having said that..i will give everyone a first or second or third chance to be the best that they can. and they don't have to reach for perfection...they just have to be willing to try. I can handle the brief periodic bad moments in the difficult tasks of trying to live a good, cooperative, and peaceful life.
saints is not set up to just meet the singular needs of the solo...it was set up to also meet the needs of the many.....this is necessary in all communal life. and it takes the ability of everyone here to at least try to cooperate.,,cooperation is the cornerstone of all communal life.
my job here is not to know all of the answers..not to be the freaking know it all expert on everything...my job is to be the contentment meter...the peace officer that moniters and ensures all creatures feel content while they are here. this does not mean they are not allowed to have a bad day, or vent when they feel overwhelmed or frustrated. it doesn't mean they have to be nice if they are frightened, upset or in pain. it means whenever their own internal meters go off kilt...there is a solution to helping them achieve some inner peace and contentment again.
but it can't be at the ongoing expense of everyone else here..i can't let others continuously suffer to meet one individuals needs.
the animals can't understand this...I don't have the ability to communicate this to them so that willingness to try, to make concessions, to negotiate peace...has to already be naturally inside them somewhere. I do try to communicate this to humans too but sometimes they can't or won't listen or maybe they too are lacking these things.
peace at a place like saints is hard to achieve...too many new and unknown incomings...too many different types of personalities, too many personal cravings and needs. yet every being deserves at least a chance to keep on living, to be here and experience the possibilities that saints does uniquely present.
and as always this leads to the inherent risks of a rescue whose doors are open to all kinds of different beings...often of just too many here. but more importantly...sometimes just the wrong mix, with the ones who need it all their way and nothing else will possibly do. those are the ones who devastate the whole in this.
saints is not a place that can exist with locked minds, closed doors, with an unwillingness to be flexible and try something else. it is not a place of one single mindset, one way of doing things, one single road to finding peace and some happiness. everyone has to be willing to give up somethings, negotiate others, pitch together and accept/embrace/share with others. and not everyone can do this. I do really try....but sometimes I plant my feet firm, pull rank and do it my way...but here I have proven my commitment to the whole and have earned this right.
everyone needs to have an emotional meter that pays attention to what is going on around them without becoming overwhelmed. when things are off kilter, when the meter says imbalance is here, we the humans need to have the skills not to make matters even worse by indulging our own needs but to think about, act in ways that restore the integral wellbeing balance of all who dwell here.
sometimes it is letting the numbers go naturally down...sometimes it is in finding solutions or actually removing unsolvable problems. but one thing it always is...is putting the needs of the others before the needs of ourselves.
we all know what peace feels like here...we may have bad days with odie or sad days with percy or frustrating days with phoebe or gut wrenching days with fletch...but we can mostly manage those days occasionally. we have bad days with me when it all is just too hard and I am not enough to fix anything it seems.
the trick is to recover the balance and one day soon again find peace. that is what all of our individual goals must be..peace for the whole.
it is hard keeping our eyes on each bouncing ball here but it is critical we keep our eyes firmly attached to the ultimate goal.