Sometimes things have to break completely before you can fix them. Life is funny that way. There is a cat that lives on the property, we call her Lucky. I guess she is lucky in a way. She has survived outside on her own for about twelve years, though that is just a guess on my part. I put a bowl of food out for her every night and I lived here for about six months before I ever caught a glimpse of her. Sometimes I wondered if she even existed before I saw her. She is a small, almost white cat with beige and brown markings on her paws, tail and ears. She is tiny, almost delicate like every other female in my man Shawn’s life. She is small but she has a fierce heart. She is a survivor. Every so often I sit with her while she eats and once in a while she lets me pet her and jumps on my lap for a cuddle. Lately, there has been a larger black cat that comes up to the deck to eat the food I set out for Lucky. I call him Spirit. God this black cat is fast! He fights with Lucky over the food and I don’t like that. I think he is a bit of a bully. I say he, even though I don’t know if the cat is male or female. Tonight he ran up the stairs and was across the deck and almost on top of Lucky before I moved and scared him off. I want to protect Lucky but I can’t be by her side all the time. So, I do what I can when I am present, though I am not sure if it helps. I am just the person that fills the silver metal bowl with cat food every night and most mornings before the sun comes up. I have my role to play and I do it with love most times. Other times, there is more impatience and annoyance than love.
This reminds me that we all have our role to play. Sometimes it is the lead role and other times it is a small cameo. Regardless, the extent of the part we play in the world and others lives is not important, but the role itself big or small is of the utmost importance. It matters to the world and the people we interact with. Remember that. Your part matters. The world would not be the same without you. The role we play in others lives, in my opinion, is one of the most important things in the world. People and our connections to them shape and change us all. Lately, my interactions with others have made it quite clear to me that I need to make some changes. Great more changes! I had tea and lunch with a friend last week and she pointed out the number of changes that have taken place in my life in the last few years. I was shocked by the amount even though I have lived, and in some ways thrived, through them. I left my job, closed my business, wrestled with the illness and loss of the man I loved, sold my house, moved, started a new relationship, moved again and adopted a new circle of friends and family. There are more changes but those are the most significant ones, and the ones I am willing to share with you. My new life does not even closely resemble the life I had two years ago. I sometimes feel as though I am adrift in a huge sea of change and am just waiting to spot land where I can once again feel the solidity of the earth under my feet.
Okay, back to people and fixing things. I am no longer comfortable with the roles I have previously played. The life I had disintegrated and while that was extremely difficult it has also given me the opportunity to create a new one and in essence, create a new me. I have led a very self-centered life up to this point. I am not proud of this and have been taking a good look at this aspect of my life. I have also realized that I do like to have time for myself even though I enjoy having lots of people around and finding the balance between the two has been challenging. In the last month, the universe has kindly provided me with many opportunities that have shone a bright light on my character and pointed out the parts I want to change. I don’t think I have been a great friend, daughter, sister or partner. So, I am looking at each of these relationships and the role I play. If there is a problem with any of these relationships, I need to look at myself first. The only thing all of these relationships has in common is me. So sometimes your life needs to fall apart before you can fix it or turn it into something you are proud of. You need to strip away all the extraneous bullshit of your personality (ego) before you can change it. Love yourself and love others as unconditionally as you are able to do. All the things about yourself that you don’t like are magnified in others. Some say others provide us with a mirror, I think it is more of a funhouse mirror at the fair that distorts and twists things so they don’t really show what is in front of them as they really are. The ego is a tricky little thing! The universe is tricky too and will present you with the same thing over and over in different ways until you are able to see it clearly.
I have come up with many reasons in the last six months that I am unable to write. I don’t have time, I don’t have a space of my own that inspires me to write, I have nothing to say, I cannot write about the people in my life because they are entitled to their privacy, and the list of excuses goes on and on. The reality of it all is that I am afraid. Afraid I will be judged, afraid that I will fail, afraid that I will succeed and afraid that people will see what lies beneath this facade that I try so hard to protect. I am taking a big leap next week. I am attending a writers conference in Orlando with my older sister Margaret. One part of me is looking forward to the conference and another part of me is afraid. I have mentioned before that I have anxiety attacks. One of the tricks I have learned in dealing with these anxiety attacks over the years is I ask myself what is the worst thing that can happen. I spend a few minutes visualizing these worst-case scenarios then visualize ways to deal with them. Things are never as bad as I imagine they could be, they are usually more wonderful than I ever thought possible.
So, next week will be my 55th birthday and I am off on an adventure with my sister and have no idea how things will turn out. I am looking forward to spending some time alone with Margaret and sharing this experience with her. One thing is for sure, there will be lots of laughter and a few glasses of wine in store for us.
Look into the fun-house mirror without fear