Buffalo’s Redemption

fullsizerenderToday, after our morning walk, my little dog, Rocky, came in and did what he always does, began to terrorize his favorite stuffed animal, buffalo. Now, Rocky is 20 pounds and can’t do much damage to anything, but with enough handling, poking and prodding everything breaks down. He’s had this buffalo since the summer we spent in Montana when he was 4 months old. Almost a year and a half later buffalo has been loved on, toyed with, and terrorized a lot. I noticed this morning, as Rocky was pulling more stuffing out of him, that buffalo could use a few repairs. I didn’t want to just throw him out, he’s Rocky’s favorite, and with a few repairs I knew I could make him stronger than he was before.

fullsizerenderAs I was stitching his torn out eye, adding a missing tail, and patching the enormous hole where his other eye used to be I starting thinking about how buffalo is kind of like us. We all get damaged in some way or another whether it be our own doing or someone else. We all get wounded, marred, and disheveled. This is a part of life and being alive. Our strength comes in what we do with those wounds and experiences.

I failed to mend buffalo when the tear in his eye was small. If I had addressed it earlier it would have never needed the large patch it did today. This parallels our own wounds. If we take the time to acknowledge we are wounded, address how we have been wounded, and take the time to learn from the experience and heal the wound, it doesn’t fester into something bigger and bigger that requires a large patch. So many times in our lives it’s easy to brush things under the rug, shrug indiscretions off, or deny that we have been hurt. This doesn’t mend the wound but causes it to build into a huge ulcer that will eventually burst.

It takes self reflection, restraint, and honesty to achieve this but if we do we can become stronger though mending our wounds. Not only that, but we can stop the cycle of hurting others. Wounded people hurt other people. Not intentionally, but unintentionally. I think back to a scene from an old Scrubs episode (yes, guilty of watching Scrubs and I liked it) in which one persons anger gets literally passed on. It’s exactly the same with pain, wounds, and hurt. You are the only one who has the power to stop the cycle. You can only control you and your actions, and your actions might effect others you love.

fullsizerenderThis leads me to my last thought on buffalo. He was badly wounded and in need of some major repairs. I could have very easily just tossed him in the trash and gotten another stuffed animal. Rather than doing that I saw the value in buffalo even in his state of disrepair and took the time (although rather late) to repair him.

This is very much like the way we sometimes treat those around us who are going through difficult times. They require too much work for us to bother with because they are maybe hurting or wounded in some way. They aren’t the “fun” person we want to hang out with anymore. But remember, we all go through times like this. You could be the difference in their life to help them on the path to healing or they could be the difference in yours.

Granted, you cannot be a support to anyone when you are not strong enough or healthy enough to be that support. Know your limits, but remember not to dismiss someone merely because they are going through a hard time. A true friend is honest and willing to support others in all things.

Yes, buffalo is a stuffed animal and Rocky is a dog, but they reminded me what it means to be a true friend and how important it is to address pain, hurt, and wounds before they need major surgery or hurt others. Dealing with pain or hurt is a process, and I’m always here to listen and offer support. Remember, you are never alone.

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