It Comes on Cat’s Feet

I was laying on my sofa the other night, exhausted and wanting to curl up in the fetal position and suck my thumb. Starting a new business for an adrenaline-sensitive like myself means that sometimes at the end of the day, I am in that puddle as I call it. Thank God I learned years ago that it is healthy to whine to another woman to help right myself.

I have a friend in San Francisco that is my best whining buddy and she has an amazing capacity to know just what I need. Sometimes, it is simply to be allowed to go on and on until I turn into butter from chasing my own tail. And sometimes, she simply reminds me of one thing that I have forgotten because we do that when we are in the forest. Those trees just elude us.

“I don’t know how I got here”, I told her. I meant it, but she proceeded, as only she can, to march me through the steps that she witnessed over a short amount of time, to help me see not what was on the inside, but the concrete hard work I had done to “get here”.  There was more to it than that, and that was the deeper question I asked myself.

Sometimes we want to change something about ourselves, something that gets in the way of our happiness. It might be our work, relationships with family members or friends, or something more subtle and undefinable, but that soul of ours pushes us, prods us, begs us, and at times takes her sweet hands off and just lets us flounder and flop like a fish out of water. Those are the hard times, the in-between times that can be agonizing.

For me, life’s greatest challenge has always been my love relationships with men. Because of what I do for work, I tend to look at my family history as the culprit, and perhaps it is. As we go through  the ups and downs of relationships however, it ceases to matter what caused the struggle. We simply want to heal it so we can have the love that matters so much in our lives.

The answers come on cat’s feet, in the most circuitous pattern with side roads and detours along the way. They ride on invisible horses, and sometimes the messages come through lyrics and music, poetry, on a walk, while watching a movie…who knows how we get those pieces of the puzzle? One day, something happens “to” us and we realize we have changed something and it is deep and lasting. There is no going back. And we say to ourselves or a friend, “How did I get here?”

But, let’s not forget to give ourselves credit for the journey. We have worked hard, read the books that gave us new insights, written page after page in our journals, gone to therapy, cried out eyes out, spent lonely Friday nights talking to our girlfriends, observed others and been curious and conscious. We have, as my friend reminded me, done a “ton of work” to get here. We are here because change happens when we are not hyper-vigilantly watching. Much like my Daddy used to say on Christmas Eve, “Donna, if you stay awake and wait for Santa Claus, he won’t come. He only comes when you are sleeping.”

Although we never know when the shifts happen, what we can know for certain is if we are curious, conscious and awake to life, it surely will come, perhaps on cats feet and while we sleep, but it will come.  And when it does, remember to thank those friends who listened, the bright minds who wrote those books, and whatever allows us to sleep so that Santa can come.

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