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4 Love Lessons from My No-Nonsense Feline

3. Jake lives a balanced life. He makes time to play. He sleeps when he is tired and eats when he is hungry. No games, no martyrdom, just Jake doing what he needs to do. He seems to know what he wants at each moment and makes no excuses. He doesn’t ask permission, he just goes. In our relationships, we need to check in with one another, but the more we do things because we think we should, the more it ends up not helping anyone. The Zen masters teach us the “Art of Selfishness.” The theory is that if we do for ourselves, we can give the greatest gift of all to those around us: our happiness. Jake is a very happy guy.

4. Jake does not love unconditionally. What I give to him, he gives back but in spades. His return is double my output. He understands what I am doing and will go the distance in a heartbeat. At times I do get very busy and can’t give him the kind of attention that he would like. At those times he will fade away and become more distant, like he accepts my absence but is not going to carry on to the extent that he would if I was there for him. He is always ready to respond when I come around. All relationships require attention and effort toward being the kind of person who is worthy of being loved. If I was mean to Jake or yelled at him, he would avoid me. I would expect that. We are all like that. The more we love, the more we are loved.

It’s not hard to understand why some people become animal people. They have given up on humans as a source of affection and love. Spirituality is all about being in harmony with nature, and knowing that the animal and natural kingdom has a lot to teach us about love and the pace of things. We have lost touch with our natural way. We have become success-driven, media-oriented and overstimulated. We have forgotten the importance of human touch. We have become inured to the plight of others and think only of the bottom line. We tend to think in immediate terms rather than listening to our hearts while looking down the road toward our future. Jake reminds me that I am a living being and a part of nature, and that we are all in this life together. The sooner we understand that and start taking good care of ourselves and those we love, the better off we will be. It makes sense to open our hearts when we understand that the future of our planet depends on it.



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Dr. Bill Cloke

Dr. Bill Cloke has worked with individuals and couples for 30 years. He received a masterís degree in education from the University of Southern California and holds a PhD in psychology from California Graduate Institute. A frequent talk-radio and TV psychologist, he is also a contributor to and other popular websites and has lectured at UCLA. Bill Cloke lives with his wife in Los Angeles. To learn more about Bill Cloke, and for more resources on creating healthy, happy relationships, visit


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7:32PM PDT on Nov 2, 2012

Love it. Thank you.

7:21AM PDT on Oct 2, 2012

great story

5:25AM PDT on Sep 26, 2012

great article, thanks for sharing :)

10:51AM PDT on Sep 25, 2012

Makes a lot of sense.

11:16PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

I agree with you and Quinton there, I loved the part "It’s not hard to understand why some people become animal people. They have given up on humans as a source of affection and love." It's what happened to me years ago. I can't understand people nor can they understand me, but animals and I understand and love each other.

They say people love is unconditional, and I say what the hell. Everyone's love is conditional. If you don't love you are not loved. People thinks too highly of themselves and forgot the nature. My late hamster Zephyr brought the nature back to me, and the love I was missing. Back then he and my other animal families are the only friends I had. When I cut off my connections with the human world for a while, I felt truly alive.

And animals are always so honest to me, it was a great cure because I was tired of the lies people kept telling me. In such a complex world, I missed the simplicity. Animals can remain so simple I envy them sometimes.

This is such a well-written story, Dr. Cloke. Thank you.

9:34PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

Cats rule.

8:57PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

Cats are the best!

8:50PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

If you want to know what love really is get a cat or a dog. Too many humans have their own agendas. Animals have only you.

8:00PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

Thanks Dr. Cloke for this very introspective article. Lessons we all should learn and practice.

2:53PM PDT on Sep 22, 2012

part 2 : Human love comes from a store you have to send money or have a lot's of it drive a nice car have a nice big house wear the best rags have the latest I-thing to get human love. =^..^= have you taken in a stray today.

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