How We Love Our Cats is Important to Our Self-Care
“I love cats more than I love people!” As cat lovers, I’m sure you’ve heard this from your circle of cat-loving friends or have even said it 🙋🏻♀️. Where does this come from? It comes from the fact that our beloved animals are the closest thing to unconditional love that we’ll experience (except for perhaps the occasional mystical miracle). They don’t have baggage, or agendas, and don’t hold grudges, so there’s nothing to forgive, and what you see is what you get! How nice is that??? Now if only it could be so easy with our human companions.
In Attached by Amir Levine and Rachel Heller, I learned about the work of Suzanne Phillips, Psy.D. ABPP, who talks about the inspiration found in the bond with our animals and how we can use that as a model for romantic relationships. I’ve always felt that how we love our cats shows our capacity for love, but never heard anyone express it in words. She relates this specifically to romantic relationships, but love is love, so I would expand that to say all relationships, including the one with ourselves.
Many of us have not had secure resources of love in our life, especially those of us who tend to be people pleasers, who struggle with self worth and self love. We are looking for security and validation outside of ourselves, when ultimately, this security needs to come from within.
But here’s the exciting thing: we can use how we love our cats as a secure model to build this self-security. What do I mean by this? Just look at how we relate to our cats: even if they’ve scratched the sofa, peed on our bed, pooped outside the box, jumped on the computer keyboard and deleted a document you were finishing (true story), we absolutely know they didn’t mean to do this, they didn’t mean to hurt us, they didn’t have a secret agenda. And it’s easy to forgive them and move on. We don’t stew on it and analyze.
Can you imagine loving yourself this way...loving yourself in such an unconditional way...loving yourself like you love your cat? Well, guess what? Since you’ve already been doing this with your cat, you already know how to love and you know how to love above and beyond. For as long as you’ve been a cat lover, you’ve practiced this kind of love! So now the key is turning this towards ourselves. But why is this often so difficult to do? It has to do with trauma and I'll be writing more about this in future blogs.
Our cats are literally and figuratively our soft place to land at the end of every day. What would it be like to become that for yourself? I would dare to imagine that doing so would shift your resonance to then allow and bring in new relationships (or transmute the energy of current ones) to those that love you how you deserve to be loved.
And Dear One, you soooo deserve Great Love...Always and in All Ways.
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