My dad used to read us the book “Ferdinand” when we were younger. I loved the idea of a bull who didn’t want to fight.
I love the movie. My favorite character is Lupe, Ferdinand’s calming goat. She looks a little deranged with a crazy under-bite, googly eyes and has a gentle heart that’s torn between winning and friendship.
She was never in the book.
My grandson is a calming goat.
I breathe deeply and smile.
I’m not the only one. Melody has had others tell her that holding Ward brings them a sense of peace. He’s a joyful little guy who doesn’t get flustered easily. A little grinner who brings a ray of light to a case of the grumps.
I didn’t know if calming goats were real things. Apparently, they’re used a lot for racehorses, who are herd animals, and need the companionship of other animals to live well. Yet horses that race are often by themselves without any four-legged friends to remind them of what they really are. Take away a horse’s goat and he may not be willing to run.
Which is where the phrase “he got your goat” came from.
My calming goat doesn’t require much other than being fed, changed periodically and enough sleep. He enjoys people and doesn’t make a fuss about being passed around like a dish at a potluck dinner.
I need two-legged calming goats in my life. Those people who are safe who allow me to be myself around them. People who don’t condone or condemn what I’m doing but are willing to listen to my side. They’ll kindly tell me I’m wrong or that I need to pull myself out of my Dayle Downer state and focus on truth.
When I’m around friends like that, anxiety lessens, I feel known, I breathe easier.
I’m a herd animal. Alone, my mind goes to the worst and oddest places. I don’t do as well alone as I do with people around me to reinforce who I am and to keep me accountable for what I do.
People, in general, are herd animals. There are loners who prefer time apart from their own kind, but even those folks have a need for people in their lives if only to supply them with what they can’t get for themselves.
We were never meant to live apart from others.
Too often I find myself without the kind heart, listening ear or understanding hug. That’s when the big lonely sets in, even in the midst of a room full of folks that I think know me.
I’m never really alone. I have Jesus with me always. Not an imaginary God. Not an invisible friend. Someone who lives with me and loves me enough to calm me in the middle of my fears and worries. Who speaks truth to correct the lies that bang around inside my head.
God in the flesh. Who loves me in my mess. Who calms my worst inner storms.
Who calms you?