Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Forgive the Thief

When you sleep with your arm purposefully resting along your side so your cat won't damage your kidneys when he leaps on your exposed waist at 5:07 a.m., you do have to wonder, "What is the message?" when he does just that.

I was dreaming of a man talking about a thief. Judging him for what he'd done.


Shocked awake.

Instead of strangling the cat, I pray.

What is the message?

I am immediately reminded, because of the dream, of an incident that happened to me recently when I went away to see a friend get married and lead the Inspiring Workshop, Cultivate Your Courage, in Vancouver.

When I returned home from the trip I noticed that a traditional Native-looking beaded bracelet was missing from my bathroom. I waited a few days, not really thinking it could be stolen, and then looked in all the places I may have put it for safekeeping.

Not there.

I called the house-sitter who had been staying here and asked her if she'd seen it. She said she would ask her granddaughters.

I had met one of her granddaughters when the lady arrived to look after the apartment. A small child of five, the young girl had played with the cat while I hurriedly did a last minute check before heading for the airport.

Sure enough, the house-sitter called back and said her granddaughter had the bracelet and could she come over to apologize?

Poor thing, I thought. How sad. How sweet.

I imagined her coming into my apartment, crying, and I would sit her down and say, "I used to steal things, too. It's okay. You told the truth. That is all that matters."

When the knock on the door came and I readied myself to teach the crying little girl a profound life lesson, I was surprised to see a 16-year old Native-looking girl as tall as I am standing before me.

"Sorry," she said and handed me the bracelet. She wasn't crying. Her mother looked more sheepish than she did.

A teenager! Boy, I could really teach her a lesson! I could give her a lecture she wouldn't soon forget. I could tell her about all the things I stole and how I've had to make amends. I could tell her that despite the fact that she wasn't truly remorseful she one day would be.

"It takes a lot of courage to do what you just did and I appreciate that," I said.

Her mother and I exchanged a smile.

When your cat leaps on you at 5 a.m., what is the message?

Take advantage of it. Blog for change.

Inspiring Message of the Day: It is better to thank someone for what they did do rather than chastise them for what they didn't .

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