When I lived in Chicago I knew a very wealthy man who has since left this world. He was an heir to an industrial fortune and had all the usual sumptuous luxuries – a penthouse in a signature high rise, degrees from the finest business schools, assorted palatial homes and a stunningly beautiful wife with whom he’d jet off for fittings with haute couture designers around the globe.
In confidence, his wife (since passed also) would share slices of her life with me and lament the challenge that her husband, so distant, had making emotional connections with her, let alone anyone else in his life – which included grown children from an earlier marriage.
When we don’t know how to make emotional connections it’s a lonely existence. Children of the very wealthy can be as prone as those in lower classes to a childhood bereft of emotional closeness. Nobody knows how to get close and often the relationships are further undermined by alcohol. Raised by nannies, schooled abroad and judged for being members of the lucky sperm club, these kids are prone to growing into lives that are spent justifying why they’re worthy of this ‘good fortune’.
Anyway, one day the couple announced they had gotten two little white curly-haired dogs. They were purebreds; I think they were sister and brother.
When we saw them next – the man flashed the double-leash with his two new charges and eagerly riffed on their personalities and temperaments. He was grinning and glowing with these doll-faced creatures in his life. His wife told me he considered them “his children” and reveled in their company, playing and walking with them.
Even When We’re Naked
Animals are such a comfort, aren’t they? We don’t have to justify ourselves to them. Impress them, mollify them, tell them what we think they want to hear. No manipulation. I guess that’s what unconditional love is, right? Being loved even when you feel you don’t deserve love. Even when you feel self-hatred.
Regardless of our ability to form connections with other people, we have an opportunity to learn softness and affection in being with an animal. Just the act of holding or touching or wrestling … and other simple play can transport us into a soothing, safe space of comfort and peace.
I invite you to watch this video as I introduce my little companion, Gracie. She follows me most everywhere and really likes my sanctuary/smoking den.
Also, would love to hear your reflections on the experience of your life with – and without animals. (And with and without marijuana for that matter!)
I’m here for you, Becca
Intriguing overview of emotional support animals and allowing them in public places:
Think you can claim your pet is an ’emotional support animal’?
MEDICAL DISCLAIMER: Nothing in this video should be taken as medical advice or encouragement to consume cannabis, especially where it’s illegal. In fact, for this video and everything else in your world, always check in with YOURSELF before acting based on anything you read, hear or watch.
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