I seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time hiding posts from my timeline on Facebook. I tend to do that with the majority of political posts, but it’s hiding all the posts about animals that is really getting my goat.
Because people are generating and sharing posts I don’t want to see. This is a smattering of the posts and pics showing up on my timeline:
- abused animals
- dead animals
- cats with arrows through their heads
- cats who have been dyed purple/blue/green/take your pick
- cats used as chew toys
- puppies used as bait dogs
- starved animals
- animals used in lab experiments
- the list goes on and on…..
The other day colleague and friend Kris Scanlon asked me if I had seen the video going around encouraging people to kill (the euphemism used was ‘euthanize’) their senior pets because they are old. Because. They. Are. Old. (They’ve lived a good life, don’t you know.)
Dear lord, I sincerely hope my family and friends don’t decide to ‘euthanize’ me simply because I’m getting older.
I quickly deleted the post that started out…….
(Don’t look if you’re squeamish)
I’m sorry, but people REALLY need to see this……..
…..but not before I started yelling out loud: What the hell, I’m SEEING the pictures you’re telling me not to look at, your warning of graphic material didn’t do one damn bit of good. You’re NOT sorry, otherwise you wouldn’t be posting this hideous content; if you’re going to post something like this, at least speak truthfully. And NO, NO, NO! I DO NOT need to see this to know this horrific abuse exists.
Click in right hand corner —> click on ‘hide post’ —> post is magically gone, it never existed. Life is good, right?
Not really, because those images, those words, those feelings of hate, anger and fear that are attached behind the words and images that are now seared on my brain and in my thoughts. I am an intuitive, sensitive and empath. While I can unsee, unhear, and unfeel the images, it is not an easy process to do so.
It Takes All Kinds
Luckily I am surrounded by a group of supportive folks on whom I can call when I get like this. I contacted Tracie Nichols and Kelley Harrell, two extraordinary, strong women who have that incredible knack of knowing when to say “there, there” and knowing when to ever-so-gently give me that mighty kick in the butt and tell me to get over it.
In conversations with them, I conceded this is not a simple conversation in which to engage. There are too many layers involved – how people take in information, what people need to see before they will take action, what action folks consider beneficial, what post/pictures cultivate action, what post/pictures cause denial in a person because they are unable to take in the idea of such shocking abuse.
Posts like these can end up causing us to feel helpless, overwhelmed by guilt, becoming paralyzed instead of taking positive action. This paralysis is most likely not coming from a sense of complacency, but one of hopelessness. It can even be because perhaps we fear not knowing what to do, or we might even be thinking we’re not educated enough to handle this problem.
In my opinion, the confrontational methods used in these posts have an underlying desire to create guilt and shame in the people seeing the posts, hoping to create action stemming from those negative feelings. However, they more often result in people distancing themselves from the posts BECAUSE they create those very feelings.
Let’s face it folks, if there were a simple answer to this, this problem would have been taken care of long ago.
So What’s A Person To Do?
As I said in “I’m Just Too Damned Tired to Care“: “I am just too damned tired to waste my energy on what is, IMO, the equivalent of a reality show, which of course does not reflect reality at all”.
Which brings us around to right relationship. Simply put, ‘right relationship’ means living at one with all with whom we cohabit on this planet. It means taking responsibility for our own actions, consciously deciding what energy we want to put out in the world and have as our legacy to this world. It means thinking ahead to the generations to come, not thinking selfishly of only our own generation.
I often refer to right relationship as relationship-with instead of power over another.
Which elicits the question: how do I help these animals without succumbing to anger and resentment, without diminishing my energy in trying to help them?
Here are some questions to ponder that may help you discern how best to move forward when sharing posts:
- Put yourself in that animal’s place. If you had an arrow through your head, would you want your picture pasted all over social media?
- Does sharing the post simply add voyeurism to the post or does it offer a way to help the animal?
- In sharing these posts, what kind of undercurrent is created? It it continuing the cycle of anger, hate and sensationalism or does it create a way to offer hope and possibility?
- Energy is energy, what energy are you propagating by sharing the post? And don’t fool yourselves, at some deep, heartfelt energetic level that animal in the post is aware of the energy being created
I know I don’t have the answer, and if you do have the answer, please be so kind as to not to share it with me. Why’s that? Because this issue is far too complicated to have only one right answer. Each one of us is called to examine this from our own perspective, and take action in our own way, keeping the well being of the animals affected by these posts in mind.
Of one thing I am most confident: when we keep the idea of right relationship in our hearts and minds, then each one of us will make a difference with those animals.
Here’s To New Beginnings,