How are you in relation to control?
I cringed wondering whose pet had gone missing and was about to be scooped up. The driver may have just been biding time until he got a call, yet I cringed anyway and walked on.
The truck caught my eye. A word caught my mind. I was struck by control in the phrase "animal control."
I'm by animal control the way I am wildlife management.
The words control and management imply domination, being over rather than cooperation and being in relationship with.
Historically Caucasians, white people, early Europeans (whatever you want to call many of us) and the resulting systems have placed man over domestic animals and wildlife unlike the indigenous, Native people who saw animals and Nature as an expression of the Creator.
The God of control dominated and judged from above and was accessible in the four walls of a sanctuary. To native people, the Creator God was all around, integral to their daily lives and decisions. Earth was their sanctuary.
The prevailing paradigm has been around for a long time. Wildlife, like natural resources such as timber, is considered a resource to be managed not a reflection of God and the sacred. Unfortunately those really in power and thus charge of managing often have vested political, financial interests in which the good of the few and in power outweighs the good of the many and the earth community.
An example of this is unfolding in Tennessee at present as many await to see whether the state will legalize the hunting of the Eastern band of Sandhill Cranes that winter over here despite overwhelming public opinion against hunting them.
According to Ted Andrews in "Animal Speaks" sandhill cranes are 'sacred guardians' representing participating in the dance of life.
Will control win this present dance? Will the decision-making process be managed in such a way that a minority with political pull over shadows the public's will?
This morning I walked along considering my personal relationship to control and management. I think of myself as fairly trusting and good at going with the flow yet life has its way of mirroring to me the ways in which I still need to let go and stop subtly managing my experience.
I walked and considered the word I would chose to use instead of control or management for the organizations that serve (service I think is their intent though I may often disagree with how they do things). What words would I choose?
Animal Services? Wildlife Relatedness Systems?
I walked and wondered.
Upon arriving home, I randomly glanced at my calendar. I found tomorrow is National Homeless Animal Day. The comment for the day reads: Pay attention to what your pet can teach you.
Think of what our pets and Earth's animals model. Cooperation, loyalty, companionship, abiding love, forgiveness, service, teamwork, killing for sustenance and not for greed.
Will we be open to learning? Or will we become the homeless ones? Is our personal homelessness of sorts already part of the problem?
The concepts of control and management puts us at risk of being detached in relation to our insides, separated from internal experience whether that be joy, vulnerability or thoughtfully connecting the dots. Increasing the distance from our own insides, we become the real homeless ones.
What words would you choose to shift the paradigm?
I don't have the answer but I do believe a change is vital. In my world it starts at 'home' inside of me.
Do I want to live from a place that's invested in controlling and managing my experience or am I willing to trust, embrace discomfort and the unknown be it inside or outside of me? What does it look like to live from a place of awareness in which not only Earth is a sanctuary but my insides are as well.
Whether with the cranes or my domestic partners, cats, I am called to be a sacred guardian of this my earthly experience and participate with increasing awareness as to my role, not control, in life's dance.
Let go of control and imagine the shift to a new paradigm in your life.
-Dawn, The Good News Muse 19 August 2013