Last month, Monti wrote a blog about what her dog Capri has taught her about mindfulness. As Monti said in her blog, we can learn some really valuable lessons from our pets. I have a pet prairie dog named Buttercup, who has been in my life for the last four and a half years. He’s sweet and feisty, full of personality, and probably teaches me more about life than he’ll ever realize.
Today, Buttercup taught me about acceptance of pain. Every day before I leave for work, I put Buttercup in his cage, as it’s unsafe to allow him to roam around my home without any supervision. Today, as I was putting him in his cage, he tried to climb back out. In his attempt to escape, his foot got stuck in the cage bars. He was struggling to remove it, and I could tell he was in pain because he was barking loudly and rapidly. The more he struggled, the more he was hurting himself. I quickly grabbed ahold of him tightly to help him relax. When he relaxed, he was able to free his foot. This situation got me thinking… pain is a part of life.
We all experience pain in some way (physical, emotional, psychological), and it is impossible to live a life free of any pain. However, we often make it worse by struggling or fighting with it, causing ourselves unneeded suffering. If we learn to accept the pain, meaning noticing it and making room for it without getting caught up in it, we can create lives with less suffering. When Buttercup was able to stop struggling, he was able to get unstuck. If we learn to stop struggling with pain in our lives, we, too, can get unstuck and stop the unnecessary suffering.
Written by Jondell Lafont, LPC-Intern
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