I’ve never been a big lover of non-human animals in the traditional sense. growing up, we had Rintintin, a lovely dog who we grew up with. After he died we had other dogs but now I could no longer recall who they were.
I have great fear for crawlers like worms and snakes. I had aquariums before and took great care of the fishes until of course, they died. Lately, we had a string of cat companions. But the loss of Snowpy, our first cat was so great I could not give equal affection to Dewdrop and her kittens. I’m terrified of some bugs and annoyed at others. Bigger animals look cute to me and I love them to bits but only to look at.
If I could I would love to have a tiger cub as fur baby, but as an environmentalist, I just could not, so only in my dreams. Animals look great at a distance and I have issues with my personal space. The reason why I was so sad when Snowpy died was because she successfully usurped my personal space, claiming it as her own. Her absence was deeply felt.
So coming to people, I have never really figured it out. I must have some kind of social disability which made me overly expressive and loving and grossly indifferent at times. The truth is, I am never indifferent. What you see in me is never the full articulation of what I am and how I relate to people. That most things happen in my mind doesn’t mean I care any less.
There was a time, a long time ago when I was angry at the world. Now I couldn’t find in me a single thread of hate. I don’t see anyone I don’t love, or at the very least like. Ok, I don’t like Trump and Du30 but I don’t hate them either. Like me, they are just people, and nobody is perfect. I could hate what they do but not them as humans.
What makes it worse is that at times I care so much that I invest so many emotions (expressed or unexpressed) that I get hurt or I hurt people. This is mainly due to expectations, attachment, and the need for reciprocity. I need this from the people I love. I need for them to be like this or that, and I need myself to be like this or that to them. There is much emptiness that needs to be filled by people I love, family, friends. But it’s an emptiness that nobody has the capacity to fill. To love someone is to give a piece of oneself, but sadly from people, I need something in return. An equal affection, or maybe even less, which is always better than nothing. At all levels of relationship, there is always something I want from people or I want them to want from me. There is so much that needs to be said those who I have lost, or who have lost me along the way: forgiveness, acceptance, or even forgetting.
I couldn’t say I need this from animals. I don’t need or expect anything from them as they don’t expect or need anything from me. The greatest thing I want to happen for them is to be left alone on their own, to be who they are, and follow their own dharma. I don’t want them to follow me around and I don’t want to follow them around. I don’t want them to be my pet and I don’t want to be their human. I don’t want to buy them expensive toys and accessories and objectify them with cute little clothes and stuff and match them with my clothes as if they, themselves are accessories.
I’m not a big lover of animals but I realized that it is only to them I could give unconditional love, without asking for anything in return. I could be their voice and I could stand up for them, without asking for their appreciation and affirmation, not even for a look my way. I could love them purely, as I couldn’t any person on earth.
NB: This post came from a Facebook post I wrote several weeks ago. Click here to see the original post https://www.facebook.com/shielarcastillo.ph/posts/10156419308010229