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Acceptance and the Thanksgiving Goat

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With the popularity of the Law of Attraction, many of us are confused regarding how to deal with aspects of our life that persist, despite our best efforts. Do we accept what is? Do we deny what is? By trying to change what is, are we putting our attention on what we don’t want, thereby creating more of what we don’t want? Do we try to tease thoughts free from our subconscious minds and tackle the intransigent that way? Or, do we keep focusing our attention on what we actually do want?

These questions call to mind something that happened in my life a few days before Thanksgiving last year. It was evening and I was headed to karate class with my boys. As I was backing out of the driveway, I noticed in my rear view mirror, a BIG black goat right behind me. I was concerned for the safety of the goat, because it was growing dark, and she, being black, was very hard to see. I know very little about goat wrangling, and despite living on a horse property, fancy myself a sort of Ava Gabor “Lisa Douglas” from Green Acres type character.

Low and behold a Good Samaritan woman and her daughter driving down the street came to the rescue. They helped me pull the goat into my backyard (no mean feat!). I headed down the street and let my very popular neighbor Teia know about the goat. She promised to spread the word and I assumed the goat would be claimed by the time we returned. My kids were disappointed the goat wouldn’t be there when we got back. However, she was there when we returned; no one had claimed her.

Two days and a lot of goat poo on the patio later, the goat was still with us. Despite the novelty of having her, she was getting to be a lot of work for me. I was anxious to return her to her home. We made phone calls and posted notes, but no one called. She didn’t seem very pleased to be with us either. She madly butted her head at the kids and the dog and she slammed the glass window doors so hard in the evenings, I was afraid she would break them. She even managed to find her way on to the safety pool cover and it jiggled like Jell-O as she walked on it. Poor thing! It was as if she had found her way to an alternative and highly unpleasant universe. Clearly she was missing home.

Despite the challenges of the children’s and the dog’s safety and the stinky goat poo, of course, I started to think about the concept of acceptance. I began to see this goat as a metaphor for some things in my life that weren’t changing, despite earnest efforts. I recently heard a healer say to a woman, who despite diligent metaphysical practices was still legally blind, that her gift was her vision because she wasn’t restricted by her physical eyes. Sometimes, we can’t see that our challenges are our greatest gifts. Consequently, I began to think about keeping the goat. And besides, who am I to argue with a goat?

Should we keep focusing on what we want? Of course! But if what is persists and we resist, we just may create more of what we don’t want. What we think about expands. And maybe, just maybe, this thing that we don’t want really is a gift. My kids loved sharing at church that the thing they were most grateful for that Thanksgiving was the goat they found. Children and adults alike laughed, as they had never heard of such a thing! Who finds a goat walking down the street?

As soon as I accepted the goat as part of the family she left us. As it turned out, the owner had been on vacation and his goat had escaped. He was never really friendly to me before, but now I was in his good graces as I had saved and cared for his much loved goat! Maybe the most powerful part of the lesson for me was that as soon as I found acceptance, the goat’s owner was found. I no longer had attention on how it should be. I had come to accept what was.

Sometimes it may be best to love what is. I invite you to tap into your own truth about this and see what your answers are!

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