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We, as a household, are cat-fans… and cats know it. We attract them.

I have often been struck, however, by how my cute little purring feline friends won’t think twice about killing an ‘innocent’ baby bird… and then leave it! Pussums doesn’t even eat its prey!

I’m told this is because it is in the cat’s nature. Thank God I’m not 3” tall.

There are only two ways for the cat to escape its nature: choice or change.

If the leopard cannot change its spots, it’s unlikely that a cat will change, but I have seen cats make outstanding choices. There are videos and pictures of cats who have made friends with ducklings and mice, and even… dare I say it… with dogs!

If a cat can choose to live in peace, so can I.

A good friend passed on to me this week something she’d heard, “Hurt people, hurt people.” I thought this was deeply profound. I’ve found this enormously helpful when someone has said something unkind or used an unedifying tone. I now say to myself, “They are hurting.”

She then went on to say, “Free people, free people.”

As a creative, I knew my mind would work on this concept. I now prefer, “Freed people, free people.” And this has led to some other ideas…

Loved people, love people… eventually.

Peaceful people, promote peace. They bring peace out of their innermost being.
Joyful people spread joy. They bring joy out of their inner character.

Fearful people, propagate fear.
On this point, I often wonder if bullies are often really frightened people - like a frightened cat that becomes frightening with all that hissing and spitting and puffing itself up.

And, most profoundly for me, healed people, heal people. Isn’t it fascinating how many healed people go on to become healers? I was thinking of Milton Erickson, a pioneer in therapeutic hypnosis. Whilst he was never quite healed from the ravages of childhood polio, he nevertheless healed himself to a large degree. He then took what he learned, expanded upon it, and, as a freed person, dedicated his life to setting others free.

Milton brings me back to my point: choice or change. He was an example of both. Where the physicians had assured his parents that he would die, he did what it took to live and regain much of his mobility. He changed. But he wasn’t fully transformed. Instead, he then let choice take him further.

From a position of partial healing, he chose to heal others to the best of his ability.

This means that the work does not have to be complete for us to begin to pass on the good stuff. If I have a measure of joy or peace, I can choose to pass that on, even if I still have a measure of pain and sorrow.

The leopard cannot change its spots but it can reimagine them as constellations and tell its friends new stories using the patterns in its pelt. Old patterns, new meanings, inspired choices, and perhaps eventual change await us all.

A Moodscope member.

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