Obsession is not Love . . .
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” ~ Anatole France
One of the greatest ways to learn love is to have a pet. I grew up with family dogs. Our dog was always treated as one of the family and was deeply loved. Having dogs throughout my life taught me about love and it taught me about loss, too. The family pets, the animals on the farm, as well as the wildlife that was all around me here in the woods, taught me respect and compassion for all living things.
Like many of you, I was deeply sickened to see all those beautiful wild animals that were killed in Ohio this week. People everywhere are questioning this tragic event …. How could such a thing happen? Why didn’t the authorities do something about it a long time ago? Wasn’t there a less deadly way to capture the wild animals? I am still full of questions about it. However, most of my questions have turned to the man responsible. The man who several news people have stated “loved his animals”.
Forgive me, but I have not heard any evidence of his love for the animals coming from the reporters. Their living conditions were not good. There were too many animals for the space. They were not well taken care of. One reporter commented that the owner ” … loved them so much, he must have decided to set them free”. Sorry, but when you love your animals/pets the last thing you would do is set them free to fend for themselves. When you love a person or an animal, you make sure that they are taken care of .. you unselfishly do what is best for them. Setting them free could have had many other reasons. Selfish reasons such as revenge or not wanting anyone else to have them … I don’t know and I don’t think anyone else does for sure. What I do know, the evidence shows it was not for love of them.
To me, this man’s relationship with his animals sounds more like an obsession, not love. Love and obsession can often be confused, so I have read. According to Wikipedia (a source for everything), “Obsessive love is a form of love where one person is emotionally obsessed with another. Obsessive love can lead to dangerous consequences. Extreme obsessive love can be the cause of stalking, rape, and murder, among other things.” Many people love their pets and treat them like humans. That makes it likely that people can also have an unhealthy obsessive love for animals as well. I bet that you have seen people who are emotionally obsessed with their animals. I know I have.
Obsession is definitely not love. When someone loves someone or something, their love demonstrates a great respect and selflessness in all things. This tragic event demonstrates what love is not. There were, however, other items in the news this week about animals and what true love looks like.
There was also a short news story about a small bear cub walking into a grocery store in Alaska and exploring the produce section. (Click here to see the video) This story was in direct contrast to the wild animals escaping. It could have gone badly for the cub, too … but, it didn’t. For one thing, he was darn cute walking through the lettuce and he was not vicious. Second, everyone remained calm and quietly someone just walked up to the cub, grabbed the back of his neck and carried him outside and let him go so he could find his mother. They did not haul him away to a facility, kill him, or take him home to love him … they let him go back to nature. They showed respect and appropriate love for this wild animal. The bear accidentally wandered out of his natural environment. Unlink the animals in Ohio, who were taken from theirs and forced to live in anything but a natural environment. It should never have been allowed.
Another story of love in the news this week had nothing to do with animals. It was about a couple who had been married for 72 years, were together and in love their entire life, and both died holding hands a few days ago. (Click here to see the video). A true, heartwarming story of genuine love.
Love is a complicated thing. I believe love is something we learn by observing and doing. Finding love and knowing love can take a life time. Recognizing what love is and what it is not is crucial to living a life with healthy love in it. When love of anything or anyone gets distorted, bad things happen. How we view love and what we believe love is can be confusing at times, but how we love defines us.
Most of my readers have written about love more than once, I have written about (To Know Love) it several times and wordpress has a tag page dedicated to love posts … obviously, love is something we are all trying hard to understand. Love is an important part of life that we sometimes take for granted and that often causes us befuddlement. It is also something that is hard to live without … because love makes us human.
Here is a great song about love from one of my favorite singer/songwriters … have a listen: “Fear is Easy, Love is Hard”
Remember what love is …
“Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury,
it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things. (Corinthians)