“Be the love you never received.” – Rune Cazuli
If you’re like me, you like quotes that make you stop, contemplate, and consider things that you normally do not ponder in the normal course of your day. This quote is a particularly good one for me because it causes me to consider what type of love I have never received but have always craved.
Human beings are social creatures and we desire interaction with other humans and we bond with those that are most like us and believe in our beliefs. We crave acceptance and love from those people that we have welcomed into our lives, and we suffer sometimes silently, when we do not feel that our emotional needs are being satisfied by those around us. As much as we may try and be strong, independent, and brave, inside we all feel the same sense of longing for that feeling that we are loved, accepted, and appreciated for being who we are.
Perhaps this need for love is why many of us choose to connect with animals and spend our days and nights rescuing them. Animals possess a way to communicate with us that is different than humans, and we feel that deep bond and connection with them that often we are not able to get from others in our own species. My colleague Kim Kelly writes regularly about this bond in her blog about the science behind the animal human bond. (https://www.doobert.com/introduction-evidence-based-science-animal-human-bond/) It’s a fascinating area of research and there are many articles, books and studies that delve further into this connection.
For me personally, the feeling of being accepted is something that has not been in abundance throughout my life. Like many others, I have struggled to find my place in society and to find my ‘crew’ that knows me, supports me, challenges me, shoulders me and just gets me better than anyone else. And while I often find some of this support in some of the people that I interact with through animal rescue, it is often hard to sift through all of the negativity, competition and DRAMA that is present in animal rescue today to develop that continuous support network that gives me what I need. Like you, I need to be thanked, appreciated, consoled, inspired, challenged, motivated and above all, loved.
My approach to getting what I need is to give out to others what I am looking for. I try to give the time, respect, and support to volunteers and organizations alike that are a part of the Doobert community knowing that it is possible that they are looking for the same things that I am looking for. Sometimes it is not easy, and I certainly have bad days and good days like anyone else, but I try to visualize things from the other person’s perspective and to respond from a place of love and respect for what they are doing. If you have ever sent an email or submitted a ticket for support on Doobert, you will notice that I reply to almost every inquiry with a ‘thank you for what you are doing for the animals’. This is more than just a tagline to me, this is something that I am genuinely trying to convey to the recipient whether they realize it or not. I have a great appreciation and admiration for those in animal welfare because I have only a glimpse of how difficult it is on a daily basis. I try and convey that love and admiration for what they are doing but it is often difficult to do through something like an email or when responding to a support ticket; particularly when they are frustrated because something isn’t working. But I remind myself regularly how important it is to convey that level of appreciation and love that I have for all of the volunteers and animal welfare professionals that work to save animals and support the humane treatment of animals.
What do you do to be the love you never received?