A Cat and Possum Metaphor
My neighbor feeds a bunch of outdoor cats. He’s also unintentionally feeding possums.
Several weeks ago, his wife told me that Mike had killed a possum in the garage. He leaves the garage door open six inches or so to let the cats come in when it’s cold.
Pat said that Mike was a little traumatized by whacking the possum but he’s going to continue to feed the cats.
He must really love the neighborhood felines since he is dedicated to them. But he’s not wild about the possums (I’m told the number in the garage is up to five–not killings; merely sightings).
Mike has a dilemma. He wants to be true to his convictions but the dang possums are killing him (and the neighbors are complaining).
Solution? Mike bought a humane trap and when one of the nocturnal creatures wanders in, Mike calls a guy to fetch the trap and release the possum into the woods.
It’s a catch-and-release program that still lets Mike attract the cats but release the things he doesn’t.
The life metaphor
Mike and I are different. You see, I attract all kinds of things and then hang on to them, come hell or high water, as Mama used to say.
I have this strange sense of obligation. I’ve brought things and people and circumstances to me and then believed I needed to keep them. It’s a spin on the old story with the ending advice about “dancing with the one who brung ya.”
If a solution presented itself–like Mike’s trap and release idea–would you let go of things you no longer needed or wanted?
Things like obligations (since we’re entering The Most Wonderful Time of the Year for family obligations) or even relationships? At one time you attracted relationships and duties because they were enjoyable in some aspect. They were good for you.
But that time is gone. Set your trap, catch that undesirable thing that causes anxiety and call somebody to pick it up.
The surrender process
The beauty about your life is you get to set your rules and standards, so long as you’re not harming someone else. You also get to change your mind. And I’m finding that changing one’s mind is so liberating.
The last month of the year is always a good one to evaluate decisions and choices made and to determine whether the things you’ve attracted should carry over into the new year.
Re-evaluate! What needs to be surrendered and released into the wild? Look closely into your mental garage. What perceptions and attitudes and beliefs snuck in when the door was left open six inches?
There’s plenty of good stuff there like your passions and your convictions. Don’t you want room for them to grow and thrive?
Try a little catch and release and let me know how it goes. What no longer serves you? Coax it into the trap and watch what happens next!
Photo courtesy of gracy