Originally posted December 9, 2013
“Animals don’t hate and we are supposed to be better than them.”
~ Elvis Presley
It’s often said: that which we despise in others is what we despise in ourselves. We see this kind of hatred all around the world: warring religious factions in The Middle East (descending from the same ancestry) fighting over what’s the “right” name for “God”; Christian leaders who preach against homosexuality while having affairs with male lovers; even just the everyday battle of the sexes between women who think all men are pigs and men who think all women are b*tches—when really what everyone wants from the other is simply love and acceptance.
“In time we hate that which we often fear.”
~ William Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra
We are more alike than we like to admit because that means we have to do the hard work of accepting all of who we are, especially the dark and shadowy bits—the bits that we fear will prove that we are unlovable. This is where the power of unconditional love shines the brightest.
Imagine truly loving ourselves without having to prove our worthiness.
Imagine if just our very existence merited that we are lovable? What if we are, in fact, love itself? And what if that radical self-acceptance inspired the same in others?
Animals exemplify this concept with such touching purity. There have been numerous studies to suggest that living with pets helps with health and happiness. Animals are empathic creatures and can feel us. They know when to come near when we need them the most. They offer companionship and love, while asking for nothing in return.
The Brazilian comic below deeply touched me with its message of compassion and self-acceptance. May we continue to heal and grow from the unconditional love of animals and may we humans soon be the face of unconditional love itself.