Having just put down a beloved cat, I am struggling now with facts and feelings. Toony was physically healthy but, for some reason, every so often, he went psycho and would attack me. Though we ran many tests, neither I nor my vet could figure out why. I struggled for a year and then accepted that I had to put Toony down. Many kind friends have reassured me that I did the right thing and I'm grateful for their intentions, but the truth is I know that. It's simply a fact. Knowing the fact does not alleviate the sorrow. I loved my cat and I am responsible for his death. A contradictory experience abides in me.
Learning to live with conflicting truths is one of life's not-so-easy tasks. Black and white do not always meld. Often they remain black and white and live side by side. You love your mate and s/he annoys the hell out of you. You want to be close to your friends and you want distance. You don't like your job and you like your salary. You hate fighting and you believe in telling the truth. You love your parent and his/her death will be a relief. You long for adventure and home is very dear to you. Notice I didn't use the conjunction "but" I used "and." "But" might imply weight on one side or the other, whereas "and" indicates that both sides of the conflict are true. A lot of time can be spent swinging between two things that are both true for you. As if by trying really hard you can eliminate conflict. Often true but not always. Another choice is to accept living with contradictory truths. Accept is the key word, a word, by the way, that helps eliminate guilt. I love my cat and I killed him. So there you are. The person who first said, "Life is messy," was ever so wise.