Loved

Looking at it from a purely personal and intensely human perspective, what I really didn’t need, after the agonies of the past year, was for another horrible, heartbreaking tragedy to affect one of my children.

He’d had a tough few years, with broken trust and unrequited love and affection and then the pain of watching his sister, nephew and niece go through all they’ve been through and by mid summer, he was deep in the abyss of anxiety and depression.  He worked so hard to pull himself out – therapy, counselling, even meds, when all else seemed to be failing.  Then he announced that he’d found a solution.  He would get a cat.

Now we’ve not been a pet-owning family.  There was the rabbit, when they were kids, but none of them took much notice of it, once the novelty had worn off, and it was left to me to care for it.  Still, he was set on this plan and duly acquired the most adorable little kitten.  He lavished money and endless affection on the little scrap and the kitten adored him back.  The pain and darkness left my son’s eyes and he positively quivered with the love he felt for his tiny pet.  We all remarked on the change it had made to his life.  The urge to care for something small and helpless was so strong in him – the parenting urge, if you like – that, once it was fulfilled, he threw himself back into his job and his life again and was the happy, resilient young man he’d been before.

Was there some seed of doubt and concern lurking just below the surface in my mind?  I watched them playing together and thought, “Oh I just hope that cat lasts a long, long time.  He’s such a central part of my boy’s life.”  But as I thought it and willed it to happen, I couldn’t visualise it.  I couldn’t see the kitten as an adult cat and the two of them moving together into a contented middle age.  That was the seed of worry that wouldn’t go away.

Then, last week, my son called to say the kitten wasn’t well and seemed to have some sort of infection.  The vet gave antibiotics, but was concerned enough to do a blood test.  Each day my son would phone me, saying some new problem had emerged; the cat was losing weight rapidly.  It culminated in an emergency night-time dash to a specialist vet hospital, many miles away, where he was told the infection was a deadly virus that was destroying one organ after another.  My son said goodbye to his kitten – only five months old – and embarked on the long journey home by himself.

While the brief illness lasted, I’d begged friends to send prayers, healing and positive, healthy thoughts to my son’s pet.  I’d tried so hard myself.  I worked and worked to visualise the cat healthy, the cat fully grown, the cat alive, but the pictures wouldn’t come.  All I could see was the little kitten, skinny and with huge, wide eyes.  I believe, one hundred percent, that we can affect the future.  It isn’t set in stone.  There are myriad possible outcomes for every situation.  With sufficient focus, we can nudge towards a better-feeling future.  So why, having managed similar things so many times in the past, could I, and all those working with us, not encourage this little creature to live?  Is it that some ‘probable futures’ are just so improbable – like the cat growing wings or learning to play cricket – that we can’t move into them, and an adult life for this kitten was one of those?

I asked my Guides and was told there had been a ‘contract’ between the man and kitten.  It had come into his life to show him that he is loveable and utterly deserving of love.  I asked why that very happy and beneficial set-up couldn’t have lasted longer and the short, brutal response was that it had been achieved and the cat’s job was done.  Now, I was assured, my son would be able to recognise and feel and accept the waves of love that would come to him from others in his life.

I’m trying to take comfort from that.  Maybe my boy is, too.  But it still feels so harsh, so cruel.  Now I’m working on visualising a happy, fulfilled and love-fulled life for this very special young man.  Join me.

 

And meanwhile, here’s me, getting the cold shoulder

Cold Shoulder

Cold Shoulder (Photo credit: smkybear)

I’m not sleeping.

Well, I say that.  Obviously some sleep goes on.  I’d estimate 2-3 hours a night – 4 on a really good one.  That isn’t deep, refreshing, all-at-once sleep, though.  I doze off for 40 minutes or so and then there’s the painful awakening.  I writhe and twist, gyre and gimble (Lewis Carroll, Jabberwocky – I’m a massive fan) and vainly attempt to get some relief from the pains that are shooting down my back, my arm and up into my neck and head.

Eventually I get up and wander off to the bathroom or pace around the house for a while, before collapsing back on to the bed and waiting for the discomfort to return to a sleep-throughable level.  That can take hours; it usually does.

I have, I’m told, a ‘frozen shoulder‘.  It’s the most ridiculous ailment; even the doctor admitted as much.  The information sheet he gave me reads like something Lewis Carroll himself might have penned.  For reasons no one can discern, the shoulder becomes increasingly painful and stiff over a period of months.  This is, apparently, the ‘Freezing Stage’.  Seriously.

Mobility may be affected, it says.  My shoulder has definite and ever-expanding no-go areas.  They include behind and up.  Stray into them by mistake and the pain starts small and takes up to five minutes to develop a vice-like intensity that has me gasping for breath.

The pain is frequently worse at night, it says.  Hell, yeah.  As described above.

So what do I have to look forward to?  Apparently next comes the ‘Frozen Stage’.  I can expect less pain but the same level of stiffness and lack of movement.  That, it tells me, will typically last between 18 months and 3 years.  After that – you’ve guessed it – there is a ‘Thawing Stage’.  A year or two more for it to subside and disappear as quietly as it arrived and I will be back to normal.  Physiotherapy and painkillers are offered, more to placate the GP’s feelings of helplessness than to make any difference to the condition, he agreed.

I’ve already tried deep tissue massage and acupuncture, to no avail.  Since there’s no medical reason, and since I tend towards the Louise Hay view of dis-ease in any case, I opted for some Reiki.

Now this is where it gets seriously weird.

Reiki symbol1

I went to a Reiki practitioner I’d only met a week or two before.  She knew very little about me and I knew very little about Reiki.  I sat for a long time listening to pleasant music while the healing took place.

When she’d finished, she came to sit with me, looking rather shocked and puzzled.

“I saw a face,” she told me.  “He was right here.”  She motioned the front of my shoulder.  “He was looking straight at me.”

Like I say, this lady didn’t know me well, or any of the people in my life.  I asked her if she could describe the person she’d seen.  As she did so, I started to realise who it was.

I went to fetch a photo.  “Is this the person you saw?”

She gasped and nodded.  “The hair was a bit different, but that was exactly the face.”

Well that made sense.  The photo is about five years old.  It’s of someone who has played a huge part in my life; someone I helped, mentored and loved for many years.  And then, little by little, he moved out of my life and stopped responding to letters, calls and emails.  He’s given me, you could say, the cold shoulder…

Hmmm.

Of course, as I’ve said many times before in my blog, I don’t believe others cause us pain.  I believe we allow ourselves to feel pain in response to the way they act.  My Guide explained it to me in this way:

What if I stick a knife in someone.  Surely then I will hurt that person – cause their pain?
NO  YOU CAUSE THE CUT
And what causes the pain?
THE CUT GIVES THE PERSON THE CHANCE TO CAUSE PAIN TO THEMSELVES

Fortunately, my Reiki healer had another strategy for me.  She told me to smile into my body – giving a smile of love and gratitude to each part of my body in turn – and to linger on that shoulder, giving it extra love.

English: Smile

Oh how right she is!   I don’t intend to wait years for my shoulder to thaw.  I’ll see if that smile, and any others I can collect, can defrost it.

All smiles gratefully received 🙂

Be the love you want to see

Love for Arts

The way I see it, we’re all love.  Basically, that’s it.  Our true/real/higher/soul selves are a part of Life itself and that – give or take a vowel – is Love.

Of course because that greater self has chosen to spend a few decades playing at being a human, we can often get so involved in The Game that we forget we’re really life/love itself, but it’s good to stop and remember from time to time.

I’m going to tell you a secret.  I’m going to tell you the resolution I made about a year ago.  The reason I’ve not told anyone before is that I wasn’t at all certain I’d be able to manage it.  It was a huge ask.  I’m certainly not saying I’ve fully succeeded yet, but I’m sufficiently well on the way to feel confident to share my intention with you, and maybe invite you to join in.

I decided to give up judgement.

To expand that slightly: I’d never liked the part of me that was so willing to criticise or condemn others for not behaving or thinking the way I did.  It was a behaviour that seemed to diminish me, so I chose to get shot of it.

So can you imagine what not-judging feels like?  It means not moaning about a political party’s politics; not criticising neighbours, relatives or figures in the media for what they’ve done or said; not even condemning those who have perpetrated act of terror or criminality.

If you’re now bristling with righteous indignation, just be aware of that feeling and sit with it.  Check how it feels within you.  Ask yourself if that’s how you want to be.  If it is, that’s fine.  I’m not judging you, either!  I found it didn’t sit well with me, so I chose a different path.

Of course I don’t agree with everything others do.  I accept that from their viewpoint they are doing what they see as the right thing.

It goes without saying that I feel sad for the victims of crime and repression – and still more sad for the perpetrators, as they act from a place of such fear.

Naturally I hate to see suffering in any form, but having acknowledged that it’s there, I can choose whether to extend my energy in anger against those I could judge responsible or in love towards everyone and everything involved.  Not-judging is not at all the same as not-caring.   I believe love is the stronger energy and will make more of a difference.

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
Albert Einstein

To look at it the way one of my heroes would, if the problems in our world have been created through judgements, fear, anger, spite and condemnation, are we going to solve them by more of the same?

I don’t believe any of the problems were caused by love.  That’s why I am willing to try it as the solution.

I can only say it as I see it.  Releasing judgement is hard work – and life throws up all manner of tests of my resolve on a daily basis.  It takes a huge effort sometimes to walk a mile in the shoes of someone who has detonated a bomb or committed murder and to try to find where they were coming from.  When I do, though, and I feel the sad, lonely, fearful place they were acting from and send them love, I feel expanded, freer and lighter than I would if I had judged and condemned them.  They don’t need my hate.  They have enough of that.  But they’re in such need of love…

…we all are.