Ava (my cat) is one of the sweetest, floofiest creatures on the planet. She’s also one of the angriest. Or, at least, she gets angry a lot — once per day, in fact, this adorable little godsend is mad at me.
- Saturday, she was mad at me because I picked her up off the table (where she knows she’s not supposed to be) to stop her from walking on cheese.
- Yesterday, after a 90-minute lap cuddle, I had to stand up to go to the bathroom.
- Today, I’m sure, she’ll loudly (angrily) meow at me when I walk in the door from work because I’m “late.” I’m always late on her clock, no matter what time I actually come home.
At least once a day, I piss off my cat. And I let her be pissed. Eventually, once her anger runs its course, I’ll be head-butted for pets or cuddled again. But in the meantime, she’s angry. And I let her be angry.
After the cheese incident on Saturday with Ava pouting in a corner, butt facing me, and paws disappointingly cheese-less, I got to thinking: if Ava were a human — an actual adult human being — how would this whole situation be different?
And I don’t mean in the way that an adult probably wouldn’t walk on cheese, which is hopefully true. But would that adult have as much freedom as my cat does to sit in a corner and pout? Would that human have that much permission to be angry, no matter how ridiculous the reason? On the flip side, would I (as the pisser-offer) be as calm? Would I still be able to sit at the kitchen table with my snack, my tea, and my book and be completely unfazed by an adult human angry at me?
See, most people view uncomfortable emotions like anger as problems — things to be fixed. If we’re feeling angry, we feel the need to make sure it’s for a good reason. If it’s not a “good enough” reason, we shove down our anger or convince ourselves that whatever we’re angry about wasn’t that big of a deal anyway. We may search for ways to not be angry anymore. If we’re the one someone is angry at, we try to make their anger our fault. We rack our brains for things we could have done better. Should I have said “Ava, don’t stand on the cheese!” nicer? Quieter? Should I have just conceded and let her walk on the cheese to her heart’s content?
But it doesn’t work to try and rationalize or solve these emotions because uncomfortable emotions aren’t a problem.
I repeat: uncomfortable emotions aren’t a problem.
They’re a part of life. For some of us, if you’re anything like Ava, they’re a part of daily life. And what would happen if you had the freedom to experience your emotions like my cat does? What if we all had permission to feel what’s really coming up for us, no matter how trivial or ridiculous? What would happen if we stopped trying to fix emotions or, worse, trying to fix the people having the uncomfortable emotions?
In other words, what would happen if we trusted in each others’ capabilities to deal with those emotions in their own way, in their own time, and come to us when they’re ready?
That’s the vision/mantra I’m holding right now. I’m trusting others to be able to have and express their emotions in their own way. And I’m trusting that, as uncomfortable stuff comes up for me, I too have the freedom and capability to work with it, in my own timing and my own way.
Wishing you tons of emotional freedom and space moving forward!
Also cheese. MMmm… Cheese… 🧀😋
Blog written by Christina Dunlap. Check out her personal website at www.christinamarie.com.