Where there are cats, there is love!
Dónde hay gatos, hay amor!
Cats are the epitome of unconditional love, which starts towards oneself (4 Practices 4 Unconditional Love). Cats, naturally, give from a full cup. By taking care of themselves and their needs, they provide pleasure, beauty, joy and love organically. That’s the essence of unconditional love: loving, accepting and taking care of oneself first before giving to others. Then, and only then, can giving be pure love devoid of expectations and hidden agendas. It’s very different from needy attachments, codependency, manipulation, possessiveness and other forms of unhealthy relating. Sadly, our predominant culture promotes such unhealthy forms of relating as “love”, even though they’re ego driven and inevitably lead to resentment, disappointments, suppression and all sorts of relationship destroyers. By taking care of myself, I’m taking care of my loved ones. By loving myself, I’m loving others around me. That’s what cats do! If I put others’ needs ahead of mine, it’s not sustainable and it builds resentment over time. “Put on your mask first before helping others” is not just an airplane rule, it’s a love rule. Mainstream cultural programming of putting others first, “sacrificing” ourselves and labeling self love as selfishness and demonizing it creates needy attachments, control tactics and inauthenticity. Loving yourself unconditionally does NOT mean mistreating others or letting them suffer. This kind of logic “I have to either please myself or another” is based in scarcity. It assumes that there is a finite amount of love, care, joy…etc and if I take it all for myself, then people around me won’t have any left to enjoy. The fallacy of this argument stems from trying to map an infinite abstract entity, like love, joy,..etc, onto finite, human made concepts like time, money or other resources. While resources are important, they are not love. I can love myself AND my friends. It’s not either/or. As a matter of fact, I have to love myself in order to love others. Otherwise, I won’t know what love is or how to give it. Love is the ONLY resource where the more you give, the more you have. In order to be able to give it in abundance, one has to be in their element. How do you do that? Pretend you’re a cat!
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