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  • Writer's pictureClarissa Tapia

Opposites Do Attract :)

Olivia & Buns

This blog is extra special for me because I am going to introduce you to two very special little lives who matter so much to me. I would like you to meet Miss Olivia the cat and Mr. BonBon the pooch. It's hard to believe that in all the content I have posted thus far, I have yet to write about these little loves. Both of these furry babies came into my life unexpectedly. Buns, as I endearingly call him, was a college graduation gift five years ago, and Olivia was found in a box barely conscious next to deceased siblings last summer. I am going to share with you a picture of both of these guys as babies; I bet you'd hardly recognize them! It's incredible what a little love and care can do for just about anyone and anything. There's a funny Spanish saying in my family that says, "Algunas personas nacen estrellados," which roughly translates into: "Some people are just born wiped out."

Both of these guys had rough starts to their lives. Buns had his right eye harmed at birth and unfortunately, the doctor couldn't save it. He only has his big, beautiful brown left eye. He was just two months old when they removed it, it was heartbreaking.

Olivia was probably a day or two old when we found her with no mom in sight; she was hand fed with a cotton ball dipped in kitten milk just to get her conscious. My family and I love animals, but we've never been cat people, (until now, of course!). Therefore, it shouldn't come as a surprise that we didn't know what ringworm was until Olivia had spread it to Buns and my dad! If you've never dealt with ringworm, count your blessings, it sucks and it takes FOREVER to clear up. Needless to say, after going through all of that we couldn't let her go.

Olivia stopped by to visit Buns and I about four months ago and never left! They are seriously the funniest pair you will ever meet. They each instigate fights with each other anytime I am home. Of course it doesn't help that I egg them on. Olivia doesn't get along with other cats and Buns has no boundaries when it comes to other dogs so it was such an awesome surprise to find that these two not only tolerate each other, they actually get along!

Favorite Past Time: Backyard Time With Mom

Being with Buns and Olivia got me thinking that sometimes we underestimate the people around us because they look outwardly different than us. Talk different than us. Don't react to something in the way we hoped they would. Maybe there's a language barrier. The differences could be endless. What if, at the end of the day, you are missing out on a really positive connection with someone simply because they don't fit into the box you want them to? I never in a million years pictured Buns with a cat sister - and now I can't picture separating them.

To that end I ask: Do you have things that make you feel superior or inferior to others? This can be things in your life that you identify with such as: your title, your status, your wealth, your fancy toys or clothes. For some, it's identification with a role such as mom, dad, sister, brother, daughter, son etc. If those things were taken away from you, would you still feel superior/inferior?

In A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, he writes, "Whenever you feel superior or inferior to anyone, that's the ego in you."

What's interesting, is that when I think of an egoic person, I picture someone full of themselves - the loudest voice in the room, the most self-centered person in the office, etc. It's easy to label these people as egotistical. What's harder is seeing beyond the mask they put on for the world and see that at the core of this ego-centered mask is an unconscious fear of inferiority. What blew my mind as I continued reading was Tolle's description of a shy ego. Tolle says a shy ego has a strong hidden desire for superiority.

Have you ever labeled yourself as a shy or confident person? Do you ever fluctuate between being shy and being confident? I feel that people fluctuate depending on the situation and who they are with. Tolle's example is this: You are on person with a chairman of a company, another person with the janitor and another person with a child. What this translates into is that you are never truly yourself and therefore the relationships you think you have are not real. In essence, you are playing a role depending on the person you are interacting with. "The more identified people are with their respective roles, the more inauthentic the relationships become," says Tolle.

We tried to force a relationship between Olivia and my mom's cat Nala, but they couldn't stand even the smell of each other. After months of fruitless attempts to get them to become friends, I finally told my parents to bring Olivia to my house to give them a break from the stress of keeping the girls apart. As you know, she made a home here, and neither Buns or I force her to be anything other than who she is. My parents and I felt that the girls being cats would have no problem getting along with each other because, well, they are both cats! Once we set aside their "cat" label though, we realized that being cats had nothing to do with their compatibility. Their little cat bodies are just suits for their living, breathing soul that animates their body. Seeing beyond their 'cat suits' and 'cat label' allowed us to help the girls be their best and truest selves - in this case in separate homes.

Wouldn't it be great to stop labeling people and start seeing beyond their human suit? I know this is hard, because our brains are always thinking, and thinking leads to thoughts, and thoughts can be judgmental, negative or just plain mean. I have noticed that when I catch myself labeling, I can actually stop the train of negative thought before it veers off the rails into a full blown (made-up) story about someone I don't even know. Doing this helps me give people the floor to do or be whoever they need to be in that moment. Not surprisingly, I end up having unique, fun and lighthearted conversations with human beings.

Moral of the story: Give people a chance. Look beyond their 'human suit.' They may not be in the right atmosphere to flourish into their best self yet. Key word is yet.

We love books in this home <3 - Shameless advertising for City of Girls!

P.S. City of Girls was amazing. Add it to your reading list ASAP. Especially if you are into feminism!


Just Finished Reading:

The Bluest Eye - Toni Morrison

*Heartbreaking to the end. I had to stop reading it from time to time because I couldn't believe in a world as ugly as described in that book. It made me think though, as I already intuitively feel, that people don't get ugly inside from one day to the next. It's layers and layers of bad things, bad people, bad situations, bad choices that culminate into a miserable, sad and lonely end. It doesn't have to be this way though. That's what spiritual teachers and healing is for, to welcome the good.

Current Read:

The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav

*More on this one soon. It's soooooooooo good. I love carrying books like this around with me. I am always pleasantly surprised to be stopped by someone commenting on what a good book it is. It's never who you would expect.

Until next time!



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Nov 03, 2019

Hi Clarissa! Hope all is well. Loved your story! No wonder Pepper & Felix were your constant companions here. You have wonderful insight! It was so good how you carried your relationship with Olivia & Buns (& theirs), over to how we should be with people. I enjoyed your mini book review too. 😊Beautiful writing. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. 👍🏼Karen

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