The Unknown Origins of Possum Hating...
I have a dear friend who hates possums. I mean she is totally off the charts upset by them. And she is not the kind of person that is frequently thrown off her game. She is very rational. She is grounded and she tends to be the rock when everyone else is freaking out. But when it comes to possums, she is kind of a shitshow.
I can agree with her, that possums are not the greatest. They hiss at you and are generally kind of so ugly they could be considered cute. But are they something to really be reviled and hated? To my friend, yes. Almost to the exclusion of everything else. There is literally nothing else on the planet that she hates or freaks out about as much as possums. She gets, that it's an issue.
She herself is perplexed by her own possum phobia. She cannot nail down a time in her life where she was traumatized by a possum. She can’t recall any personal possum encounters. She has no sad tale to tell where possums are the evil and sinister bad guy. She just hates them and kind of fears them.
And while it has become a Tribal joke about her hatred of all things possum, recently she has taken a deeper dive into why. She has been seeing possums more often lately causing her to wonder what exactly is up and why she is being inundated with them, given how much she detests them. She is spiritual enough to know that when something, anything really, begins showing up in your life repeatedly, there is usually a reason.
So she is trying to figure out the unknown origin of possum hating. To date, she has not reached a conclusion about where or even when it started. And at the end of the day, she can go on the rest of her days hating possums and it isn’t really going to move the needle. She will lead a full life. So why even bother to be bothered about it?
Because she knows that this somewhat irrational fear is here to teach her something that she needs to know. That this place where she departs from her usual grounded and sensible self, is a place worth exploring. Why does she hate them? How does this negatively impact her life? Does possum hating do anything positive for her? What is she missing that the repeated recent appearance of possums is trying to teach her?
From my vantage point watching her wrestle metaphorically, not actually, with possums, I have the following observations...
1. Possum hating is interesting because they are the only thing that she is irrational about. I mean she is pretty normal, if not exceptional, in her ability to assimilate many different and varied things in her life. She is a unifying force who is unflappable most of the time. Possums are her Achilles heel. And perhaps, that is just hers, we all have something and hers just happens to be possums.
2. Being willing to find out why is what a healthy person does about something that vexes them, disturbs their peace of mind. When we are disturbed, we suffer. It is hard on us to be upset, and sometimes a lot of work to avoid whatever it is we fear or hate in our lives. For me, I approach discomfort like possum hating. I seek to never be too cold or hot or itchy. I avoid those things like she avoids all things possums and I think we are both better off when we dig a little deeper to find out why. The why is what keeps us stuck in a mental pattern that does not serve us. Now some of you may be thinking, “well how the fuck often is she actually running into possums anyway?” And that is a good fucking question. And the answer is that for years, not so much...but recently possums have been coming to her in a whole bunch of ways, so many ways that she is paying attention.
3. Possums or uncomfortability or really anything we avoid take an incredible amount of power to maintain. Fearing something or avoiding something takes energy that you could use for something else and consumes it only to maintain that same level of energetic drain. In short, that which we fear, persists because we allow it to. And we can devote a whole bunch our lives doing that to our own detriment.
4. Perhaps, just maybe, we all have an unknown area like possum hating. And perhaps, it doesn’t seem like a big deal. But for me, and now maybe her, our insistence that we maintain any level of hate in our lives, acts to further cut us off from the love vibration in life. It is hard to maintain fear and love at the same time. And the love vibration operates at so much higher a frequency than fear, but the act of operating both at the same time takes energy from the higher vibration thereby robbing you of energy that you could put to better use.
I don’t know if my friend will ever get to the bottom of her possum hating. And to be sure, her life will go along just fine if she never spends another moment in time even thinking about why she hates them so much. But to me, it is her willingness to lean in, even to this most absurd part of her makeup, that makes her an exceptional human being. Being curious about that which makes us tick is part of an awakened mind. Asking ourselves hard questions about why we think or feel the way we do, to me is never time or energy wasted. It is the repeated asking of questions like this, instead of a blanket commitment to maintaining a feeling that really doesn’t serve us, that helps us evolve into higher and more purposeful versions of ourselves.
And of course, the universe needs us all to work on being better versions of ourselves. In fact, I would go so far to say that the fate of all of us depends upon all of our willingness to look into the incongruent and often times completely inane parts of ourselves to see if we can unlock the doors to the stuff about ourselves that we do not want to know, do not want to see. And if you can do it with something so relatively benign as why you hate possums, you have the practiced skill to look at harder things about yourself and your reactions to others when they come up, and believe me, they will fucking come up.
Sometimes possum hating is just possum hating. And other times, it is an indication that something else is going on with you, some part of yourself, your past is requesting permission to be addressed and you get to decide if you are going to look there and see what is going on or if you are going to bury it under a million reasons and justifications. Because it is never really about possums, like ever. It is always some shadow part of ourselves looking for expression, looking for a way into the light. And we will forever be in charge of whether or not we allow it to find its way to surface light or banish it to the darkness forever.
My experience is that allowing these often strange phobias and idiosyncrasies to bubble forth instead of allowing them to play possum is really, always the next step in spiritual awakening. The universe will use whatever it needs to get you to wake up and live, even sometimes fucking possums.