More lessons from the squirrel

More lessons from the squirrel that lives in our yard

The squirrel is back.

Do you remember the squirrel? He taught me some valuable lessons on letting go. That smart little Chip (or Dale) reminded me that I’m not in control of the whole world.

It’s ok if you don’t remember, you can click here and go back and remind yourself. Hang on. Chip and Dale were chipmunks. Never mind. I digress.

My point is he’s back.

Alright, I can’t be sure it’s the same squirrel, but he’s got the same kind of attitude.

Control freak

I’ve been watching him dominate the bird feeder, the ground under it, and pretty much the entire yard. He’s spent almost the entire morning darting back and forth across the yard. He fills his cheeks with seeds from the bird feeder (it is NOT a squirrel feeder – at least it’s not supposed to be) or from the seed that has spilled on the ground, and dashes off to one of the many holes he has made in the snow in the yard.

I’m pretty sure he’s filling caches under the snow because he’s only under for seconds before he pops up from the same hole and heads back for a refill.

He’s got at least half a dozen ‘front doors’ around the yard and I’ve seen him disappear down one only to reappear halfway across the yard so I know there are some long tunnels out there too.

No sooner do the birds land on the ground for a feast than that squirrel runs right through them, sending them flying off in alarm. He’s done that several times already. He is nothing if not persistent.

The bird feeder itself isn’t safe either. If a bird goes in for seed straight from the feeder, he dashes up the pole and chases them away. Then he sits on top of the feeder for a minute chirping loudly declaring his ownership of…well…pretty much everything. He’s a control freak. He’s a tyrant.

Fortunately for the birds, eventually he plays out and needs to go for a nap.

Hmmm…now that I think about it, maybe he’s a toddler!

His lack of willingness to share the space or the seed reminds me of a conversation I had the other day.

WARNING!

Warning: Yes. If we have lunch together, coffee together, text, Facebook message or comment, or have any other form of communication, or have had in the past, it is entirely possible it will eventually show up in a blog post. I do, however, promise to keep your identity a secret to the best of my ability.

So back to that conversation…sheesh – I cannot follow a straight path with my thoughts this afternoon. Maybe I’ve been watching that squirrel a little too much!

I was having lunch with two very dear friends, one I have known since childhood and the other is like a sister to me. Suffice it to say, we know each other fairly well. Our work situations are all very different; one works for a small business, one is a small business owner, and one (this one is me) works mostly from home.

We all agree on one thing though, we prefer to work alone.

Actually, we agreed on two things. We prefer to work alone because we all have control issues.

It isn’t that we can’t work with other people. We can and do. The issue is when we have to delegate some of our own workload to someone else, or in my case, share a workspace with the person who took over my old job.

Don’t misunderstand. The person who took over my old position is doing just fine. She’s just not doing things the way I would…which is to say…wrong.

Ok, not wrong. I will grudgingly admit that her way seems to be working just fine. It’s not wrong, it’s just different.

Pride

Why is it so hard to accept that other people may have a good way *gasp* perhaps even a better way to do things? It’s pride.

Pride (noun) a feeling or deep pleasure or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements, the achievements of those with whom one is closely associated, or from qualities or possessions that are widely admired.

Pride can be a good thing. I don’t think it’s wrong to feel proud of something I’ve done well or something I’ve achieved.

Why then is pride one of the Seven Deadly Sins? It’s actually the first on that particular list!

I think the problem is when we take our feelings about our accomplishments (or our work) and we use them to build our self-esteem.

Why am I valuable? Only for how well I do my job? I hope not. Then where does my worth come from?

Real value and worth

Have you ever made a list of all the things you are? I am a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a writer, a Celebrant, an artist, a friend…and on and on. Buddhist teachings say suffering comes when we hold too tightly to things that will inevitably pass.

The truth is all those things can be taken from me (and no, I don’t want to think about what that would be like). If they were, if all those things were stripped away, what would be left? What would make me of value?

Here’s where I believe worth comes from

My value comes simply because I exist. My humanity is of inestimable worth. It is a gift from the Divine placed in my heart and my mind, two places that can only be touched if I allow it.

My value comes from my love, my kindness, and my compassion. It comes from seeking beauty and holding it in my heart and mind and sharing it with others. Even when life, circumstance, or other people would try to convince me otherwise, I believe I have value that cannot be calculated by the size of my paycheque, the grandness of my house, or the number of my achievements.

The more time I spend reflecting on the truth of my worth, on the things most important in life, the less I need to find my self-esteem in clinging to those things that will not last.

And should I find myself needing a reminder, I will listen to the infinite wisdom of a lady names Alice Sommers. It was the love of music which she calls beauty and God, which was kept in her heart and her mind that saved her from death in the horror that was Auschwitz. You can listen to her story called Alice Dancing Under the Gallows. It is worth every second of the time it takes to watch the video.

Deep lessons from watching a squirrel race around the yard, but the lessons are everywhere if we have ears to hear.

Light and love to you all 💕

 

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2 Replies to “More lessons from the squirrel”

  1. 🙂 wonderful 💙

    1. Thank you Elizabeth! I appreciate you taking the time to read 💜

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