the dog, the bone, the cat

the dog, the bone, the cat

What is it about a dog and his bone!?! Some dogs will give a warning snarl and growl if you get to close to them when they are gnawing away on their skeletal delight; others will tease you to try to take it away. Its veterinary declination is known as CSOD—CANINE SKELETAL OBSESSION DISORDER. Most humans are immune to such species-specific diseases, but there are some corollaries.

Similar to their mongrel counterparts, humans will often gnaw away at ancient animosities, past hurts or grievances, or unresolved issues. They will not seek resolution or forgiveness. Their only response is one of persistent loathing or neurotic retribution. They chose to do one thing—gnaw on their bone. In the end, like the dog, they will wind up with a knot in their stomach and even sharper teeth to bite any future wrongdoers who cross their path. Endearment and reconciliation are not words in their vocabulary. To this observer, only broken relationships, seething internal anger, and spiteful conduct will result.

IF, any of the above even vaguely describes you, you need serious help. Bad things happen to good people. Most of us have been wounded, hurt, betrayed, or whatever by someone or some organization in our life. [This is particularly true within some religious institutions.]  It is never a pleasant experience. But it happens. The pain we feel is real, searing, and deep, cutting soul and flesh to the bone. But we do not have to respond to it with bitter enmity and retaliation. It is not necessary that we allow this pain to produce in us a simmering, smoldering, ferment of vicious revenge. We can also react like the dog that plays with the bone, allowing others to pull it out of its teeth. Instead of gnawing silently and snarling at people who care about you, let them rip it from you and throw it away. Of course, you’ll fetch it, like a good dog, but bring it back to them—don’t retrieve it and slither off, cowering, with your bone once again clutched in your teeth. Gnaw, gnaw.

OR, you could just get a cat! You know…, something else to play with, chase, and tease. Or, maybe even become close cuddly buddies. At the very least, cats are curious, unpredictable distractions. Playful companions have a funny way of interrupting that persistent gnawing.

So let go of that bone you are gnawing— and go chase a cat! Leave the past in the past.

Have a nice week,

Gary

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