Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Capacity to love

I was just thinking about something my mother said to me during my sobfest yesterday. It is not a secret that I have a hard time with allowing emotions fully, feeling validated in many areas of my life, and am a typical minimizer about situations. I made the comment that my anguish over losing Tovah was similar to when I lost MyGurl, another dog whom I thought I was keeping, several years ago. However, with MyGurl, I had her for four months, so it felt validated to me. I only had Tovah for two in a half weeks, so my sadness didn't completely feel justified.

However, my mother said, "
No Tiptoe, what it shows is your capacity to love."

I reiterated, "well, at least with animals. And I probably cry more over the loss of an animal than a human."

This is very true indeed. It seems easier to love an animal versus a human sometimes. Animals don't necessarily talk back at you, judge you, or abuse you like a human can. I guess it is my hope that I can love or find love similar to how I feel about an animal with an actual human being, aside from family and already established friends. I realize it may never be the same, but I know my capacity is there. It's about allowing myself to be open to it which is often a scary place.


Kim said...

I've noticed that too -- I feel very capable of loving animals, but humans are harder. Humans can, you know, let you down. With animals, you can be totally vulnerable. They will love you totally and completely. I cry when I see a cat or dog on the road; but I feel kind of blank when I read about the death of a human I never met (even though I never met the cat or dog either). I feel guilty about this sometimes. Maybe it's like your mom said -- loving animals shows our capacity. It's a risk to love humans. They're not as predictable as animals. They're complicated and scary! I don't even "know" you, but I know you have a huge capacity for love. Tovah is so lucky!

Lola Snow said...

Every time I think I have your measure tiptoe, you post an insight and I realise just how many layers to you there are. You have so much to offer someone, probably more than your self esteem would allow you to believe, I hope you can let them slowly in through those layers. I think you can.

Lola x

Yum said...

For me it is especially so with domesticated animals, in the sense that I feel a certain (almost maternal) responsibility towards their welfare (as opposed to say, seeing a deceased wild animal in the backcountry, which would probably elicit a remembrance of and humility towards the cycles of nature rather than a feeling of loss.) Either way, I think Albert Schweitzer said it best: "Until he extends his circle of compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace."

Sarah said...

I feel like that as well. My cat London is my baby. I believe its the fact of unconditional love, and the need we both have for each other. That is what keeps us close, just minus the talking back, judging, or abuse that might come with human relationships. Its a hard balance to achieve, in that its more complicated to fully trust a human because they are much more capable of things than animals, and in which you can't predict they will or will not do to you.

Tiptoe said...

I agree with all of you have said. Animals just bring a wonderful sense of unconditional love that sometimes feels like it cannot be matched. For many of us, there is also a nurturance quality in taking care of an animal that is different from a human being, not that it means more or less, just different.

Lola, thanks for the lovely comment on my layers. :-) You're right that I do forget that there are many layers to me, ones that whomever may end up with me has to filter through.

Kyla said...

Sorry I"ve been MIA over the holidays - but now I'm back! I agree that it can be easier to love an animal than a human - they are so trusting and never judge or ask for too much. They just love you unconditionally. I'm glad you had your mom. What she said to you was very wise.

Tiptoe said...

Thanks Kyla. Yeah, sometimes my mom says some good stuff! ;-)