We all want to help our animals when they face tough times. But in order to do that, we have to be able to hold all things, good and bad, and to accept even the most difficult moments, rather than run from them. No one can live forever, and life always changes. All we have is this very moment. The more we can accept this reality and even embrace it, the more open our hearts become and the more we can support our animals when they face difficulties.
To accept things as they are, we must develop an inner spaciousness, where our hearts can open up. One way to do this is to reflect upon life’s impermanence so we can embrace the moment. Here are three quotes to help you. Contemplate them in meditation or write about them in your journal:
1. “The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.” – Rabindranath Tagore
This quote inspires me to ask questions such as: What is time? Is it the past? Is it the present? Is it the future, or is it more?
2. “Bees have to move very fast to stay still.” – David Foster Wallace
What is movement and what is stillness? Can you experience stillness while you move? Can you experience movement while you are still?
3. “When you truly embrace your human impermanence, you connect with the power you have, and the influence you have, over the time you have.” – Steve Maraboli
What is true power? Power is often seen as something negative, but is this true power? Are you afraid of your own true power?
In one way, this present moment is illusory, as it always leads to the next moment, and the next and so on. And yet at the same time, there is so much depth to this present moment. There is so much love and goodness we can infuse into it. We must learn to see things with our hearts; in this way our fear of the impermanence of life loses its grip on us and we can live more fully in the present. For example, we might look at our animal who is ill or suffering and we can see the suffering with our eyes, but that is not all there is; it is only the surface of things. If we look deeper, with our hearts, we can also see our animal’s inner spirit: a perfect, bright and beautiful light. No outward, changing circumstance will dampen this wonderful light. We can connect to this light each and every moment. We can share compassion and peace right now.
Accepting things as they are means that we can be present with the outer circumstances, which even when they are difficult, are always changing. At the same time we can bring our awareness to the deeper truth of the spirit, which is always balanced, bright and harmonious. Focusing on the heart of things will help us embrace impermanence, while offering unwavering, courageous support to our animals when they need us most.