September 21

We Live in a Zoo

September 21, 2012

Personal Growth

Not long ago I was privileged to host Sheri for an intervention. For weeks afterward, she said that feeling unconditionally loved during our time together had changed the way she saw everything: herself, other people, and more. One day she called me and said, "I just spent the day at the zoo. I've been to zoos many times before, but this experience was entirely different. I realized that I was seeing every animal as beautiful and perfectly adapted to function in its own environment. Take hippopotamuses, for example. If a human being looked like a hippo, most people would find it unattractive—both in the way it looks and in the way it behaves. Hippos are unbelievably fat. They waddle when they walk. But they are perfectly adapted for the watery places where they live. They're fascinating, and even elegant in their native environment."

"It occurred to me," Sheri continued, "that people are like the animals in the zoo. We may look and behave very differently on the outside—like many species of animals—but if we see people in an accepting and loving way, we can see the beauty in everyone. Everybody has adapted to their environment, even if the environment was painful. It made me see people differently. I feel more peaceful as a result of seeing people more clearly."

When people are angry, blaming, or vengeful—to name just a few unpleasant qualities—it's easy to label them ugly. But we've all just adapted to the fear, pain, emptiness, genetics, and other influences in our lives. Beneath all the apparent differences, we are wondrous creatures worthy of unconditional acceptance and love.

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