It's pretty incredible how wise our animals really are. I'm sure you can relate if you have any of these furry friends in your life...or not so furry, like mine ;)
I know, they are a little weird- but totally lovable. You get used to the "no hair" thing, I promise ;)
Taking a moment to step back and really think about all of the qualities they truly posess can be an eye opening, heart warming experience.
Take it from this 6 year old. Shortly after losing his furry best friend, even he was able to realize the gifts and understanding in our relationships with animals.
Here are 9 awesome lessons that we can learn from our beloved little creatures:
1. Unconditional love- They will always love you unconditionally. Maybe they are a little more enthusiastic when you’re filling up their food bowl, but regardless of what you’re feeling, how you are acting, and what you say- they will always love you without any conditions upon giving that love.
2. Intuitive- They usually know when something's up with you. I know when I've been at my lowest lows, they somehow can sense somethings wrong and they won't leave my side. They rush you with love without overstepping any boundaries. And it's just what you need in that moment ;)
3. Patience- However long it takes, they will always be waiting with patience, understanding, and certainty to be present with you. They won't rush you to get some project done before it's ready, or get you out of the house because you're late. (Frankly, I'd appreciate that though =P)
4. They never ask you to change- There’s nothing wrong with you hair, your weight, or the clothes you wear, or even how much space you take up in the bed at night. They take you just as you are without strings attached or stipulations.
5. Basic Needs/Needs Nothing- Animals experience true, authentic, happy bliss regardless of how many "things" they have. Once their basic needs are met (food, shelter, water, warm bed), they just want to be a part of loving you, and that's all.
6. Not Attached- To that treat that you didn't give them, to that walk you forgot to take them on, to chicken flavored food.
7. Always happy to see you- "OMG you are home! This is the most exciting thing EVER!"
8. Loyalty- You are the priority. They want you to know that they will always be by your side no matter how many times you've spanked them for peeing in the house, lost your temper after finding your chewed up shoe, or gotten frustrated with them after being woken up by prancing or playing in the night. You are their soul and they will protect you at all costs.
9. In The Moment- Ball? Squirrel? Treat? Kiss? Whatever is happening RIGHT NOW is where they are. They aren't dwelling on that annoying dog that sniffed their butt, or why you took so long to come home. They are just happy to be present.
10. No Judgment- No matter how ugly our behavior can be, they will never have a preconceived idea about you. They see you as you are, and in that observation we rest knowing we have a judgement free zone- even when they follow us to the toilet! =P
11. Stay Playful. <3- Take it easy and know that it's not always as serious as we make it out to be. Be light, be fun, be flexible and mostly, get playful & let the child in you shine.
In our own special context, integrating even a few of these lessons into how we treat the ones around us can give us a whole new perspective and appreciation for what is most important.
Maybe take a few of these with you today, try them out. Not only develop a new found love and appreciation for how you interact with others, but maybe some extra kisses for your animal friend in gratitude for everything they teach us.