A few weeks ago I was having lunch with a friend. She mentioned a mutual friend and casually said, “She is moving into a new place and going to get her cats de-clawed.” I could feel the emotion rise up in me. I asked my friend why and she said, “Oh, I’m not sure and don’t want to get into it” …end of conversation. I knew, for that moment, that I had to drop it or I would ruin the lunch. On the drive home, I kept thinking about this and felt angry and judgemental. I wondered if I should talk to her or send her some information on the harm of de-clawing. As I drove along, wondering what I should do, I realized that the car in front of me had suddenly stopped. I almost smashed into them. I took it as a sign to mind my own business.
I never used to be able to do this. In the past, when I got an idea, or felt very strongly about something, I had to act on it immediately. But it is the energy of the interaction that is important. If I am angry and judgemental then no matter how valid my point is, or how hard I am trying to conceal my negative feelings behind a thin veneer of “acceptance”, I am most likely not going to be heard. There is a wonderful “suggestion” in the program of Alcoholics Anonymous that basically says when we are upset (about anything), our number one priority is to calm the internal disturbance before we take any action at all.
When I am in turmoil and inner chaos, I am seeing with the “worm’s-eye view”. Calming down, going within, asking for help from the larger more expansive part of me, praying, all help to give me a clearer, higher view of what action (or not) will really help in the long run and not just make me feel temporarily better by getting the issue off my chest.
This friend called the other day and talked about her move and how she had considered getting one of her cats de-clawed but decided against it. Sometimes I need to get involved…sometimes I don’t.