Remember watching a cat or dog chase their tail? The real question is when was the last time someone watched you chasing your tail? As I reflect on various chapters of my life and as I hear friends and colleagues share various experiences, it strikes me that we are just a guilty as our feline and canine friends of chasing that darn tail. Here are a few thoughts to consider.
- If you are not certain you have been chasing your tail, look at the size of the circle. The tight crazy spirals are easy to detect. It does not take long in the loop to recognize you are, in fact, running in circles. It feels fast, definitely frenzied, and dizzying. So it becomes easy to declare the insanity and stop the cycle. The tougher challenge is those large, slow, looping circles that may actually seem like graceful glides through the situation you are in. If you return to the same place and outcome, you have been chasing your tail.
- Old animals don’t chase their tail. As funny as it may sound, seldom in the animal kingdom will we see an older, wiser creature chasing his tail. That is with one exception….homo sapiens. Yes, the human race is not immune to repeating old habits regardless of age. The truth is, we never really stop chasing our tail in one area or another until we fully agree to truly learn from that experience. Input from trusted friends and loving family can certainly help, but each of us must come to the complete understanding of the forces that drive us into the temptation to chase that beautiful bushy tail.
- It’s not wise to stick your hand into the middle someone else’s circle while they are running at full speed. I did that once when one of my cats was so engrossed in chasing his tail that he seemed to have forgotten all other things. What I did not know was that the cat was intent on biting the catch as hard as he could when he found it. My hand substituted for the catch. Wow, that hurt. Yes, I stopped the cat and saved him from probable sickness, but I paid a big price. As noble as trying to stop someone else’s frenzy may sound, there is a point at which outsiders must stay out of the way. It’s far easier to intercede and assist with helping someone stop a cycle in the early stages before the momentum builds.