Weight Weight Just Love Me – Got Goats? – Day 13

Michelle LaBrosse, CCPM, PMP, PMI-ACP, RYT

Sometimes you just have to take your goats out for a walk. Give air to your ire and let the fresh air clean out whatever irks you.

Sometimes you just have to take your goats out for a walk. Give air to your ire and let the fresh air clean out whatever irks you.

The other day, someone “got my goat.” I wondered just where did this saying originate and what is the higher value of having “goats” anyhow?   According to the website – The Phrase Finder – “A commonly repeated story which purports to explain the phrase’s origin is that goats were placed with racehorses to keep them calm. When ne’er-do-wells who wanted the horse to race badly removed it, that is, they ‘got someone’s goat’, the horse became unsettled and ran badly. That’s just the sort of tale that gets the folk etymology juices running. Let’s just say that there’s no evidence to support that story.”

It doesn’t really matter what it was that raised my ire – what matters more to me is what was the larger purpose of this experience?  What makes me the judge and jury of how someone else’s chooses to be and how they choose to share that experience of who they are anyhow?  Am I only able to run fast if all my “pet” comforts are close at hand?  And if not, I sulk off into a corner and brood?  This is where I think the term “high maintenance” comes in.

Yet even this dressing down of myself does not seem all that loving.  As well, I have a feeling there is an actual purpose to my goats – and it is not to attempt to control others through my reactions.  Applying the principles I talked about yesterday – I was wondering what I needed to more fully love in myself because of this event that got my goat?  And I decided to take a curious, open, accepting and loving perspective on the overall purpose of having goats.  So here goes….

Goats are very good at cleaning up debris. They can even go into some places with nasty plants and are quite happy cleaning those areas up too.  Click here to see a video of how goats are being used to clean up poison ivy and poison oak in the Congressional Cemetery.  They are able to eat the poisonous plants. Plus nothing makes it through their digestive system to pass on the propagation of the poisonous plants.  Having goats in this sense seems like it serves a very good purpose.

Linking this back to the metaphor – “got my goat” – maybe having these knee jerk reactions to perceived toxins in my own life serves a valuable purpose.  Maybe it serves to help me learn how to steer clear of those things that could cause harm in some way. Could the higher purpose of having “goats” be to develop discernment as some situations and/or people warrant extra caution and consideration?   Loving myself more means loving my “goats” more as well.

Kate’s comment: my gosh did this post make me laugh out loud. When you brought us to the part about goats eating the poison ivy and poison oak, I thought “boy, oh, boy, what a tangent!” but then you brought us back. And helped validate our feelings when we’re hurt. Although it feels better to be happy rather than upset, ignoring the upset feelings doesn’t make them go away – addressing that someone could take your goat from you is a good step in understanding why you needed that goat in the first place. That brings the conflict down to the core – and overall, leads us in a productive direction.

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