Topaz © Aliyah Marr

I fondly remember  the antics of the family cat of my childhood, who would often get the heebee-jeebees right around 11 pm at night. You know what how bizarre it feels and looks when a charlie horse suddenly takes over the muscles of your leg. Cats seem to experience something similar.

Our cat might be sitting on the floor, as calm, collected and dignified as any Zen practitioner deep in meditation. Suddenly his back would start twitching — it appeared to be moving on its own. He would look around wildly for the person or animal tormenting it, find nothing, get spooked and run off in the other direction. We used to laugh and say that he was “chasing ghosts.”

Our cat could never get to the bottom of this mystery; he didn’t realize that what he experienced was not actually outside him; instead, it was just a nervous twitch inside him. He could only project his feeling, imagine an enemy, and react.

We do the same; we have the power to create whole worlds from our imagined fears, and forget that the solution to most of our problems lies in awareness, acceptance, and integration. We can choose to be conscious of our thoughts, and realize that we have the power to accept and integrate all parts of ourselves. We can seek wholeness and acceptance inside and without.

We can choose to be conscious instead of unconscious; we can find the whole within each part; we can remember to understand, tolerate difference, and accept that there is a natural form even in things of human design.

Copyright 2010 Aliyah Marr

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