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Living With Porcupines

For a long time I was under the mistaken notion that if you call someone a friend, you’ve got to stick with them for life. Then I realized that certain people I called friends, didn’t really act that way towards me. I decided to cut them off.  Unfortunately, things were and continue to be bitter on both sides. I might have regrets about some of my behavior and actions towards them thereafter, but none whatsoever about cutting them off. No matter what they believe about why I moved away,  I know it was a matter of reclaiming my freedom to grow.

For a time, I must admit, that I wondered if I was right about such decisions. Was I becoming intolerant? Was I setting standards for other people and if they stepped out of line or caused me some irritation I cut them off? I realized that this was not true at all. I am able to forgive and move on with people who are closest to me – my husband, my family and my real friends. Just as they forgive me too. I am able to put up with their idiosyncrasies (even when I grumble about them!), just as they put up with mine. I am able to laugh off their mistakes, just as they laugh off mine. I am able to put up with their bad moods, just as they live through mine. And it is, precisely because we accept each other, love and support each other despite all our imperfections, that these relationships are life-giving to me. 

It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold. The porcupines, realizing the situation, decided to group together. They were covered and protected, but the quills of each wounded the closest companion.

After a while, they decided to distance themselves, and they began to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice: either accept the quills of their companions or disappear from the Earth. Wisely, they decided to go back to being together.

I’m glad to be able to live with the porcupines ….Indeed, I can’t live without them.

Are you living with porcupines too?

May you be inspired – everyday!


  1. M V MOOVENDAN M V MOOVENDAN January 20, 2012

    Dear corinne,The beauty and surprise is in multiplicities and opposites.What iam is what iam and what they are is what they are and this is the uniqueness and mastery of creation.I never impose any demands and condition in interpersonal relations and happy to accept anyone in their true nature.

    • Corinne Rodrigues Corinne Rodrigues January 20, 2012

      Thanks for your comment @22bb18ef0b543d3148e22688d5e960a9:disqus …Yes we are all different…and we need to learn to accept and live…

  2. Bec Owen Bec Owen August 23, 2011

    What a wonderful post Corinne;  I like the little story you’ve included, too.  I’m a porcupine myself, just as I think everyone is…we always do well to look for the positive aspects of those around us (and ourselves), and focus our attention there…rather than on the ‘quills’ that we might have!

    I so appreciate the wonderful insights that you share with all of us, Corinne…thank you!

  3. Pamanner Pamanner August 22, 2011

    Oh, yes.  I’ll take my porcupines and be content :-).  Great insights Corinne!  xo

  4. Jan Jan August 22, 2011

    Such an accurate post, I have some porcupines in my life, I am so gratefuI do!!

  5. Margaret Waage Margaret Waage July 22, 2011

    I love reading this. I hesitated about doing the same thing. But it is ok to recognize not everyone is a friend. Tolerance is a good survival tool. But to grow, acceptance is the way!

  6. Bella Bella July 5, 2011

    Corinne, I think the Significant Other definitely counts as part porcupine! That said, most of the time we do like the porcupines and in the process, avoid risk of relationship extinction! 🙂

  7. Sarah-Jane Klemis Sarah-Jane Klemis July 2, 2011

    Oh My is that what they are – time to get me a safety vest x 

  8. Cathybeebe1 Cathybeebe1 July 2, 2011

    I have been weeding and cultivating my garden. It is a nice feeling.  I lived with porcupines for a long time. I have learned to adapt to other species that are more nurturing of me.

  9. Sukanya Sukanya July 2, 2011

    we all have porcupines in our lives-without them, life will be boring:-)
    they give us the much needed perspective, they force us to look inwards, make us self aware, remind us that tolerance and patience are virtues we should  have. nice! 

  10. Savira Savira July 2, 2011

    I am thankful for the porcupines in my life….. WHY? simple….. they remind me of what is out there and they have allowed me to see my strengths and weaknesses as well…
    I love this post and the title of it… you are just brilliant with finding interesting titles!

  11. Dangerous Linda Dangerous Linda July 2, 2011

    Hi, Corinne! —

    I have had a similar experience over the last couple of years and I thought it was just me — haha!

    I struggled with “cutting people out” because it goes against my ideals of unconditional love and open-mindedness.  

    I think I may piggy-back on your post for one of my own …

    Thank  you for the inspiration that you are!!!


  12. Sangeeta khanna Sangeeta khanna July 2, 2011

    So true Corinne !!!
    It was like something i wanted to write all along , could not do for the fear of sounding resentful. You said it so well and the porcupines teach us such great lesson this way.
    There are many people who turn toxic and it’s better to let them go …

  13. Sonia Rumzi Sonia Rumzi July 2, 2011

    Distancing myself from harmful people was always a point of contention between me and myself. Always wondering if I did the right thing. Yes, I did. It was the right thing. I can forgive them but I do not have to allow them to keep doing it over and over.

    Thank you for your insightful article. I love your writing. But you know that already. Hugs.

  14. Bonnie Gayadeen Bonnie Gayadeen July 2, 2011

    I live with Porcupines and i am honored to do so..unconditional love should be .. real friends accept the good and the bad..and live together even with the quills…As always…XOXOXO

  15. Divinadcosta Divinadcosta July 2, 2011

    What you wrote in this article is exactly where i am……….wondering weather something was wrong with me with the way i just cut off those who are grouches or know only to suck out of you…….feel so much better after reading this. Thanks Corinne. Loved it. have heard the porcupine story earlier but in this perspective seeing it for the first time. 

  16. Jackie Paulson Jackie Paulson July 2, 2011

    Jackie Paulson_ I will enjoy our new FRIENDSHIP ♥

    Blog URL:



    love to read, write and share knowledge, I am a Truthseeker.



  17. Deepti Nova Deepti Nova July 2, 2011

    C..I so understand what you wrote..
    I have done the same too
    and felt so relieved..
    it’s like cleaning your closet occasionally.. feel healthy and so much more freer :)Tcare

  18. debra elramey debra elramey July 2, 2011

    Am I living with a porcupine?  Oh honey… you don’t know the half – that “lesser” half 🙂  But, no doubt, I’d be out in the cold without him, and would most likely freeze to death 🙁

  19. Charlie Nitric Charlie Nitric July 2, 2011

    Hi Corinne –

    If you can put up with me, you can put up with anyone on this planet ;).

    Sometimes we cut our contact with friends because we are both traveling in opposite directions. Other times life just happens. Then there are those people I like to call acquaintances. I know them, they know me, but they are not my friend and doubt they ever will be. Corinne, don’t you go and leave me!!!!! 🙂

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