Everyday Mysticism: The Obligatory Encouragement Post (2019 version)


Every year about this time, I do a post reminding our readers that, yes, things may be tough. Yes, things may look scary. And yes, life is still good! I like to call it the Obligatory Encouragement Post.

If the Wise Fool has wandered into your life, lucky you! Consider yourself blessed! It’s a gift to be able to look at ourselves and the drama of our lives, and laugh. So many of us forget that life is meant to be enjoyed, foibles and all. We are caught in this web of perfectionism and expectation that does not serve us. So let’s do something about that, shall we?

The Puppy Paradigm

When was the last time you watched a group of puppies playing? If you have access to the Internet, probably last week on YouTube or Facebook. We love watching small animals play, especially in groups. They are clumsy, silly, often messy, and just a joy to behold. We can’t help but love the pudgy little idiots, because they are so cute as they grow into their paws, so to speak.

Now, look at a group of humans, clumsily interacting, making mistakes, making a mess. Do you get the same warm fuzzy feeling from that observation? Probably not. Why? Because we have different expectations and criteria for judging humans than puppies. But I ask you, why? Why do we see the chaotic efforts of puppies (or toddlers or kittens) as adorable, but deny that same love and humor to adults?

While I’m not 100% advocating immaturity as a lifestyle goal, there’s a lot to say for just giving yourself the freedom to be an idiot. When you or someone you love screws up, how different would it play out if you just laugh, hugg them, and put them back on the right path? How different would your relationships look? How different would your life feel?

Puppies on a Global Scale

Unless you live under a Happy Isolating Bubble of Oblivion, you may have noticed that humanity is kinda tripping over itself these days. We’re squabbling, freaking each other out, hurting each other on a physical, emotional, and psychic level–generally making a huge mess all over the place.

It’s hard to adjust the Puppy Paradigm to this scale, mainly because the stakes are so high. When people’s lives are at stake, when the health of the Earth is at stake, how can we possibly reduce this issue to something so silly?

As odd as it seems, I think we absolutely must look at humanity with the eyes of puppy-lovers if we’re going to survive. Everybody, every soul on this planet, thinks they are doing the right thing. Even the people whose actions are abominable to us, on some level, are doing the best they can. Every person on this planet, even the most atrocious of us, is a soul on a path.

If we’re going to get through this in one piece, I think a good place to start would be to just step back and observe. Imagine this chaos as out-of-control puppies. Of course we’re not going to let it continue. Of course we’re going to do everything we can to be the responsible grownups, not only for the puppies’ protection but for our own as well. Even a puppy can be dangerous under the right circumstances.

But as we’re doing our best to clean up the mess, to guide the misguided, to learn from our own mistakes, wouldn’t it be better to do it with the same love you’d show an adorable little puppy?


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Images on this post are from Power Animal Oracle Cards by Steven D Farmer PhD. and MNN.com.

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