Sunday, July 15, 2012

Learning to Recieve

The excerpt I quoted from Animal Speak in my previous post was part of a chapter on exploring the predatory nature of animal totems.  Andrews claims that a person needs to become familiar with the natural habits of her totem animal(s) in order to more clearly understand her own nature and motivations.  He explains that predation is a dominant concept of the natural world, and rather than be squeamish about it--"that evil lion is chasing down those beautiful gazelle!"--we need to study it and take to heart the valuable lessons contained in this most natural of behaviors.

Later in the same chapter, Andrews brought forth another nugget drawn from the behavior of predators that I found invaluable to my own current situation.  Studying the behavior of predators, he says, teaches us how to receive--a behavior that we control-freak human beings have not only thrown by the wayside, but very often denounce as bordering on the sinful. 

"Unfortunately, in our present society, we hold strong to an unbalanced view of martyrdom.  We are taught that if we do not suffer we cannot grow.  We are programmed not to be selfish.  We are drilled in our religions and our society to give and give.  We are never taught that there are times to receive as well as to give."

He goes on to postulate that if we don't recieve the little things like compliments, offers of assistance--the kinds of small gifts we are offered every day and have been taught to deprecate or politely refuse--the Universe will not send us the big things.  This is so eerily parallel to a concept put forth by Jesus in the Gospel of  Luke--"Whoever can be trusted with little, can also be trusted with much..."-- that I began to wonder if we hadn't been misinterpreting Jesus' meaning all along. 

Andrews offers that predators clearly demonstrate the behavior of freely receiving from the Universe.  "When the Earth presents a prey opportunity, [the predator] goes after it.  If it doesn't, it will not eat."  He puts forth the challenge that one should learn how to receive joyfully and freely, trusting that the Universe will also show you opportunities to give back in appropriate ways later. 

This is SO something I need to incorporate into my own life.  The guilt I have attached to my current state of idleness has sabotaged my enjoyment of it, and my ability to use this gift of "free time" to its greatest potential.  It seems like all I can think is I'm not contributing, I'm being a burden, I'm a slug, I'm a slacker, I'm taking advantage.

The problem is, I'm NOT actually taking advantage, am I?  I'm doing everything but.  I honestly feel that the Almighty wants me to be happy where I am, and when I get to that point, I will be offered new options. 

I mentioned earlier that I felt that I was being told to "Wait!" and that I was not happy about it.  I think Ted Andrews' book is offering me some reinforcement of what the Almighty is asking of me. 

Yet another two-by-four upside the head...   

No comments:

Post a Comment