The other night, around 9pm, Mick and I were lazing back in our recliners, when, out of nowhere, a mouse ran past us.
Nyla, our lightly snoozing moggy leapt up and gave chase, but the mouse ran for cover and bunkered down behind the gas heater, waiting for the cat to jog on.
Nyla was transfixed though and made herself comfy, eyeballing the heater and preparing to give chase at any moment.
Mick got up, muttering something about a “poor mouse” and I have to admit that I was perhaps a little heartless, suggesting we leave it to the cat to deal with.
Mick, horrified, started giving me a lecture, asking how I would feel, if in my next life I came back as a poor little mouse that no one cared about, complete with big eyes and big Italian hand gestures.
So ... off the recliner I got, and became an active team member of Operation Moose in the Hoose.
Mick got a big container and started giving me the plan of attack.
I was to lift the heater and he was to trap the mouse.
Whaaat?? Nope! No deal! It’ll run over my foot and then I’ll scream and it’ll get away anyway, so, let’s just leave it to the cat, I said.
Part two of the lecture commenced.
We rehearsed several strategic rescue missions, all of which lead to the same outcome, me freaking out, the mouse getting away and the cat taking off in pursuit.
Never mind! Said Mick, I’ll do it myself (amidst delivering part 3 of the lecture and putting the cat outside).
He perched the container on his hip, bent down (observing correct manual, handling position of course lol) and in the process, he inadvertently knocked the heater and dropped the container in one move ... right over the top of the now rescued mouse.
Whaaat? How the actual f**k did you do that? I asked him amid raucous applause.
F***ed if I know was his equally shocked reply.
Anyway, with the mouse in the container, we slid the lid on and pondered what to do with it.
My suggestion that we take it to Mick’s place (my gorgeous spunkybum lives next door) but, apparently that was not my best idea.
So, we decided to carry it down the driveway and release it over the road into the vacant bushland where it could run free for the rest of its days.
So, I got the job of carrying the precious cargo, and down we went, both in dressing gowns no doubt looking like a couple of robbers up to no good.
I walked very carefully so the little fella didn’t get shaken around.
I talked to him all the way and put him down super gently on the grass, ready for release.
We said a little good luck and safe travels mantra and gently lifted the lid.
Well, the little bastard ran over my foot, (so I ended up screaming anyway) and he took off, at a great rate of knots ..... all the way back up to my place and right back into cat territory.
Walking back up the driveway, I had another moment of reflecting on how this exact story belongs to so many of us.
No matter how much you love someone, or what you do to try help them, ultimately, it ain’t worth a pinch of goat's sh*t if they don’t want to be helped.
You can invest loads of time, thought and compassion into creating opportunities for them to be saved ... but ultimately, the choice is not ours to make.
Not only that, the person we may be trying to help, could be exactly like that little mouse ... totally unappreciative of our efforts, in fact feeling suffocated and imprisoned by our nurturing and grasping the first chance it got to make a bolt for it, without even a ‘thanks for everything’.
So, sometimes we need to step back, accept that, even though we see peril written all over their decisions, that it’s still their decision to make. It's their journey and despite our protests, they have the right to navigate it as they wish.
What if, in the midst of those bad decisions they meet the one big teacher that they need to meet? The one that inspires them to take a different course?
That teacher is probably not us.
That teacher could be the universe.
Or it could be a cat.
Either way ... they’re not going to grow if we keep trying to save them from the lesson.
Sure, you can provide support and offer to be their co-pilot, but we can't plot a course for their recovery based on the GPS of our own beliefs and values.
Let them grow and learn the lesson themselves, properly, when they're ready.
Do you know a mouse?
Perhaps you’ve even been one.
Kickass Mindset Coach & Corporate Trainer