Thoughts From The Wilderness – Nuclear Reactions and Fire-Crackers(Why We React as We Do)

Not including the immediate members of my family, isn’t this about the cutest face you’ve seen in a while?

squirrelHonestly, how can a face like this drive our beloved four-legged fur-baby into having an instantaneous fit of barking and jumping? All neatly packaged into a momentary loss of sanity.

Apparently, it’s quite easy.

We have a small tree just outside our large front window in the living room. It provides the perfect setting in the winter to hang bird feeders and suet baskets. The ideal spot to sit back on the couch with a hot cup of tea and enjoy the comings and goings of various winter birds and the occasional squirrel.

_dsc1262-version-2Our dog Katie does not and I repeat does not have any love or a “kind bone in her body” when it comes to the issue of squirrels. In fact, her “worldview” suggests that squirrels are a “scourge on society”; the “bane of her existence.” As such, all squirrels need to be dealt with in an appropriate manner. This includes, for the most part, barking and jumping at the window until they leave her field of vision.


This particular wrestling match between squirrels and Katie has been ongoing from the time she’s been with us. One would have assumed by now that she would have grown used to them or at least given up to some extent.

We’re kind of hoping she’ll come to the realization that “they’re out there and I’ll never catch one, so why get all in a fluster over them.”

I’m sure only a millennium altering “alignment of the planets combined with some unexpected hiccup in the universe” would result in any type of squirrel/Katie truce or UN-negotiated cease-fire.

Yup, she has a pretty large “hissy-fit” over something relatively minor, having little if any impact on her.

I know plenty of people, including myself, who have similar levels of “hissy-fitness” over what is seemingly inconsequential events or situations. If you’re going to blow something out of proportion, might as well make it a huge explosion. Why use one stick of dynamite when ten well ensure fulfillment of your “scorched earth policy.”

Why do people react this way? Accelerate from one to ten(scorched earth diplomacy) in milliseconds. A nuclear reaction to a fire-cracker event.

I guess there might be many reasons. For some, it’s unconscious; just how they learned to react. Perhaps for others, their reaction might be connected to a sensitive subject or event that happened. Maybe people are afraid, panicky, or feeling threatened. Stress, anxiety, fear, illness, or as a learned coping skill could all come into play.

When that “nuclear reaction to a fire-cracker event” happens, there is always something else going on under the surface.

We often react based on the results of situations that happened in the past. Those reactions were never really resolved and dealt with when they occurred. So, past reactions resurface in present situations. Until those issues get dealt with or we just let go of them, our “scorched earth policy” will continue to be the norm.

Where do we fit into all of this?

If we’re talking about Katie, we know the “hissy-fit” usually lasts about five seconds until the squirrel notices her apparent forthcoming vicious attack and retreats away from the bird feeder. It’s the attack that never happens. Remember the front window? The dog inside; squirrel outside.

But, with loved ones, friends and such, what can we do?

Well, they or we might need help to put the issue in perspective. Maybe sitting over coffee and gently discussing the scenario with some questions might help.

Questions like:

  • What is the worst case scenario now that this has happened?
  • If that occurs what will be the ramifications?
  • What will occur if things like this continue to occur?
  • Could there be another outcome?

Finally, how do you think people respond when everything is an issue?

Is there a better way to deal with these situations? Although he, she or we are the ones who need to do the work, having someone who understands may give them or us the support needed to resolve the issue once and for all.

Empathy and support go a long way.
Just a thought

17 thoughts on “Thoughts From The Wilderness – Nuclear Reactions and Fire-Crackers(Why We React as We Do)

  1. Agree with the above Glen … I believe it stems from insecurity, or maybe in Katie’s instance sheer boredom … pretty sure if you took her outside, closer to the feeder/squirrel she would hush up pretty swiftly … she feels she is defending you against an enemy [in her perception] but in reality she would quiet .. maybe 🙂
    Others listen and support but most of us are not so negotiable … fear and insecurity!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. P.S. I am still Anne Copeland. My best friend Barbara Williamson’s photo keeps coming up with her name because I am helping her to create her web site for her art, which was all lost in the fire in Paradise, CA with her home. She is a paraplegic and has been my friend for more than 15 years now even though we live in different part of CA. I loved your post and it makes so much sense. Good writing for certain. I love this quote from Jo Coudert, an old-time actress, in her book, Advice from a Failure: “Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave nor lose. To the question of your life, you are the only answer. To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.” Be it a creature or a human, we all have things that perhaps bother us on the outside, because our lives are all intertwined within. We are crucial, all of us, to this earth, and just as mankind tends to want to fight and has throughout history, so creatures too are not always friendly. There is the issue of territory and there is the issue of sameness. We dislike what seems different to us. But left on their own, and without outside influence, lions will often protect creatures that would normally be their prey. Thank you for this excellent post. Peace and blessings, Anne

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s