I am not a cat person.
I have what they call allergies.
I also think cats hate people.
Notwithstanding this fact I am the owner of 2 cats, this is a result of years of pleading and a moment of weakness on my part. While I am not a cat person, Tia is most definitely a cat person, like she has this boundless knowledge of cats that sat dormant for the 15 years of our marriage that I successfully kept pets out of my house.
The story of how the cats ended up at my house is a story for another day.
One morning I was watching the kittens play on our dining room chairs (I said I’m not a cat person, but I am not a monster, I get the appeal I just don’t vibe with the cats the same way Tia and my kids do) and as kittens do they were wrestling around on the chair and I noticed something.
Korra had pushed Kubo backwards while he was on his hind legs, and he started to fall backwards off the chair, and there was a distinct moment where you could see that Kubo realized he was going over, and rather than try to fight his way back up he turned and leaned into the fall, at which point he landed gently on his feet in that classic cat way, and strutted off as if nothing had happened.
It was such a simple thing, all that happened was Kubo accepted what was happening and then worked with precisely the situation he was given. How often do we as humans fight what is happening in our lives? How often do we look at a situation where we may be stumbling or falling and rather than going with what is, we flail about trying to fight it?
And how often does that end well?
Life is messy, and as an extension of life business is messy. And we sometimes think we have this supernatural ability to control our outcomes to the degree that when surprises happen, or we stumble or we fall we do everything we can to fight back into a position where we feel like we have control.
But the only way we can control anything is to work with what we have.
If you stumble, embrace the stumble.
If you fall, lean into the fall.
At least that way you can see where you are going, and you can hit the ground in a much better way. The Stoics would say that life is a struggle, and I can say that there are days when I feel that as truth down to my bones, but it is what we do with the struggle that creates us.
Marcus Aurelius said-
“Our actions may be impeded… But there can be no impeding our intentions or our dispositions. Because we can accommodate and adapt. The mind adapts and converts to its own purposes the obstacle to our acting.
The impeding to action advances action.
What stands in the way becomes the way.”
I dig that.