I have recently been reminded about the atrocity of an experience that I had when fighting the battle of the New York City Rodents. It was a cold winter evening and I had been at school all day. Tired, and ready to unwind from the day’s stress, I had already taken my warm shower, moisturized my body, and prepared to lay in bed… ready to become the meaty part of the bedwich (me, in the middle of a a sandwich which uses the cover and mattress as bread.) And then, as I was just about to turn off the light in order to do so, out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed a quick dash across the bedroom floor… Now, I had lived there for six months and while I was aware that our apartment had “visitors” I had never seen a sign of them in my apartment, so I knew this couldn’t be so…
This was one time, when I wish I had listened to my mother’s many directives which ordered me to pick my clothes up off the floor when I took them off… but in my haste to undress myself, bathe, and get into bed… I neglected to do so.
What better place in the world, for this little dark creature to dash and hide beneath to cover themselves from human exposure???
Slowly I walked in the direction of the pile of clothes on the floor. A purple shirt that I brought on sale from TJ Maxx and my favorite grey slacks from the Gap lay strewn across the bedroom floor. As I picked up the first item (my purple shirt) I was relieved to find that it covered nothing but a dusty wooden floor. My relief was short lived however, when I reached to grab my pants, only to find that before I could even grab the item, a small rodent dashed away again, coming so close to me that I could have touched the little critter if I was fast enough!
I yelled as if my life depended on it! And then… I did what any self-respecting, young, single woman would do. From the fast paced, intense, and glamorous city of New York, I reached for the phone, and called to the small, rural town, of Norwood, NC in hopes of that on the receiving end, would soon be my mother… Whew! Thank God she answered! She discussed with me many of the rural town concepts for catching such creatures, many of which did little to combat this problem for me. In many ways, however, just talking to her and hearing her calming voice brought a feeling of relaxation over me. As we talked she asked a seemingly insignificant question at the time, but I have since grown to appreciate this question in other areas of my life. She asked me “Was it a baby rat or mouse?” I thought to myself… “What? Why do I care what type of rodent it was… the point was… it was in my house… it was unwelcome… and I wanted it out!”
You see, I didn’t care what it was because I didn’t want to co-habitate with a mouse OR a rat. But when we look at the daily challenges of life, many of us fail to realize that we are doing just that. We often find ourselves living with less than ideal situations, no matter how uncomfortable they are. We invite either mice or rats in our homes when we choose to accept elements of our lives that are counterproductive to our needs and desires…
Take for instance the woman who is living with a boyfriend who disrespects her by being verbally abusive. She might explain the situation away by suggesting that “at least he’s not hitting me” but she is being abused nonetheless. Or what about the person who is working in an environment with a verbally abusive boss? Is it really okay for her to stay, because staying is better than being unemployed? I beg to suggest that each of these situations illustrates a scenario in which a person must ask themselves does it matter whether or not “it is baby rats or mice?” What if it were a mouse or rat… Do we have choices? Is there anything that we can do about them?
While I know that change can be difficult and at times overwhelming, my hope is that you may also learn to bring caution to what you find to be damaging characteristics in your life. By being honest and authentic, you can learn to tell yourself the truth. And when the truth is revealed, you too can learn to eliminate the bad situations from your life. After all, you deserve a life free of rodents… Regardless of whether it “is baby rats or mice!”
Blessings on your Sacred Journey!
See Below and Remember… it doesn’t matter if it is baby rats or mice!