Geneen Roth on the Subject of Being

Some months ago I read a compelling book with an unusual title: The Craggy Hole in my Heart and the Cat Who Fixed it.” At one point in her narrative, author Geneen Roth comments the behavior and demeanor of her cat, Blanche:

“. . . After I finish crying, Blanche looks at me as if to say ‘ So what’s next on the agenda? Pizza and yum yums? Sunroom nap? Motorized mice? Why don’t we take a nap and then lounge around for the rest of the day?’

“In the following months, I notice again and again that Blanche doesn’t act as if he needs to accomplish or succeed at anything to justify his life.” (Yes, “he.” I always knew this gender stuff was a challenge with felines.) “Being present is enough for him, whereas I believe I have to earn love, rest, play, value. I still believe that suffering is noble, and if I work myself into the ground, I can take a nap. If I get sick, I can rest. If I succeed, I can feel valuable. I have to constantly prove I am worth taking up space, as if the prosecution has evidence to the contrary.”

Sound familiar? To any degree? I know it does to me. Roth’s words serve as a delightful reminder to lighten up, and to refuse to make things harder, more complicated than they are. “Being present is enough,” on bad days, good days, neutral days – all days. We are worth the space we take up simply because we are, because we were created for reasons we cannot fathom. Perhaps our biggest responsibility is to enjoy what we have been blessed with, to have a heart full of gratitude, and then to relax, and follow some of Blanche’s suggestions. (Personally, I’m electing to go find the Lindt chocolate bar that’s laced with essence of orange, and then perhaps take a little nap. Can’t hurt anything . . .)

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