I was more than a little bit intimidated. I was feeling fear the closer we got to one another. Yet I wanted to know him, and I wanted to get close.
He was gorgeous and proud, sleek and strong. He weighed 250 pounds, had claws sharp as steel blades and teeth that could rip me apart …if he really wanted to.
The trainer handed me His leash and said, “Whatever you do…don’t let go.”
I looked at Him, He looked at me. I walked warily by his side. He sauntered casually and then laid down cooly in the shade.
I posed stiffly in the grass with the leash a joke between us.
The photographer wanted me to loosen up. The trainer reassured me that Casey, The Mountain Lion, was trustworthy.
I looked at the proud cat and I took a deep breath to try to drop my fear. But my uneasiness remained.
When I agreed to the photo shoot I expected there would be some sort of barrier between us. Instead I found myself sitting a few feet away, and being told I am responsible for hanging on to him.
Then Casey stretched his body out and rolled in my direction.
I jumped six feet away in one move, dropping the leash without hesitation.
I stood still as I realized he wasn’t rolling over to eat me, he was rolling over to expose his belly to me.
Next he looked up at me with his soulful dark eyes, and he began to purr.
250 pounds of purr loud as thunder…and he looks up at me and says, “It’s all right, Cat. You don’t have to be afraid.”
And with that I fell in love with Casey.
Casey knew how to get me to drop my stiff facade and let down my hair. He showed me his vulnerable side, he showed me his affection, and he opened up my heart by just being himself.
The rest of the afternoon Casey and I posed together. He laid politely by my side, and sometimes he rolled into my lap.
By the end of the day I leaned into him and began hugging him.
His trainer had to remind me although Casey was friendly and was clearly showing me affection, he still could hurt me terribly without meaning to.
But it was too late. I was way into loving Casey. I continued to rub my face against his face, to hold his head in my arms, and to let him playfully reach out to touch me as he desired.
The leash and the fear both had disappeared.
We don’t need barriers or leashes to be safe. We need love.
Let others see your belly.
Let go. Drop the fear.
Then listen for the purr…
Trusting in the power of love to remove all barriers,
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