Fighting the Bear

I don’t know how many of you have seen the movie Life of Pi, but I highly recommend it. I wrote a blog post about it some time ago because I was enthralled with the idea of animal instincts dwelling within each of the characters. Pi and the tiger were of particular interest to me due to the fact that they seemed to be so opposite. They were enemies, and yet, they were each other’s only companion.
I eventually stumbled upon my own “untamed” self. I had a dream in which I was attempting to care for a grizzly bear, but it didn’t take long before I decided to send the bear away. “It has to go,” I thought. “There isn’t room for it here.” As I chased the poor thing out, it stopped and turned to look at me, but I would not change my mind. My spiritual director suggested I have a conversation with the bear, so I wrote out what I believe was exchanged in that glance:
I can’t say
that it isn’t easy to love you
that I can walk away
without wishing to be near you
why can’t you just leave
because despite the fact
that I want you to stay
I want all that you are to go away
At first I thought I identified most with what the young girl was saying, but then I felt I was instead the poor grizzly bear being driven away. It didn’t take long, however, for me to see that I was both woman and creature. It made me realize that I value only part of who I am, but attempt to push away that which I find “unlovable” or “untamed”. This is in no way a new concept, but it is not familiar territory for me to try and love something with such sharp edges. Much like Pi saw the tiger as a murderous entity to be feared, I also want to escape the claws and teeth of the bear. Pi attempted to chase the tiger away as well; then he tried to befriend and tame him, but to no avail. Pi’s journey only became successful when he respected the tiger and its place in his life, while at the same time not letting it take over. That’s where I am now in this journey of self-discovery. What about you? Have you been fighting any wild animals lately?