I was watching an episode of Animal Hoarders which portrayed the difficulties of a woman with 300 cats. When asked by the therapist if the woman had any clue as to why she felt impelled to rescue so many cats, even to the detriment of how she herself lived, the woman eventually broke down and replied, “I couldn’t save my sister’s life but I can save animal’s lives and I HAVE TO DO IT!!!”
What inner dynamics drive the way in which we are living out our life? We have all had the suspicion that something is amiss in our inner life and yet been unable to figure out what the complicating factor is. Perhaps the flavor of our life has to do with the way in which we deal with what life presents to us. Procrastination is a good example. Something feels too difficult, so we put off dealing with the difficulty by saying that we will get to it tomorrow. The problem is that when tomorrow comes what was difficult yesterday is still difficult today. So we put it off again. Eventually we fear our tomorrows knowing that they too will feel too difficult for us to address.
Perhaps we crave stability and yet yearn to break free of a smothering sameness. We instinctively know that there is more for us to be and to become. At the same time we wax romantic about the past and how wonderful it was… how much more wonderful it was than today is. How much time do we spend in looking backwards instead of facing what is in front of us? Perhaps we sometimes wonder what the world will be like without us in it? Will we be missed? Will life, for those living it, be somehow less life-filled because of our absence from it? Are we actually present today or do we fantasize about being anywhere else but here? Are we thriving or just making do? Does the way in which we live enable us grow or does our life feel as if we’re just treading water?