Accept, adapt and move on
Our cats have taught us some valuable lessons in these areas this past and present fall. In January, we said goodbye to our beloved kitty, Gabrielle, after a sudden and heartbreaking illness. Now, after losing an eye to cancer this summer, our 14-year-old cat, Midnight, is nearing the end of her physical journey with us.
One big lesson I learned from all of this is that animals adapt. They do not complain about ailments or over-analyze why this is happening to them. They accept, adapt, and move forward as best they can with their “new normal.”
When Midnight had his eye removed last summer, it was traumatic for all of us, but most of all for him! He was on painkillers for a while, had to wear a cone and was separated from his feline family for 2 weeks. With much love he recovered quite well. He was accepted back into his little kitty family, he regained the lost weight and continued his daily activities. The hugs, the farts, the num nums, the romps in the sun and the luxurious naps are back.
He just settled into his new normal like a one-eyed cat and got on with his life. He made the best of his situation. He still has an amazing life with a loving family and sometimes annoying cat brothers.
I think there is a lesson for us humans. Of course, life will bring us many experiences, some desired and some not, but it is our perception of these experiences that shapes our lives. We can be victims of our circumstances or we can rise above it.
We can choose whether to label our experiences as good or bad and then reflect on the “bad” ones. However, we can stop with the labels. What if we thought of these experiences as just moments in our life? Every experience is proof that we are living, learning, growing, and moving forward in our lives.
With each experience, we grow. In moments when everything is going in our favor, we learn what we want to continue thinking and doing. Then come some of the most valuable lessons, the ones we learn when we hit a bump in the road and things don’t go so well. That’s where we learn to adapt. We learn to correct course.
We don’t have to label this as good or bad, we just have to accept that this is what it is now. We can take a moment to breathe and assess the situation. Remember that in times of stress, we pinch ourselves by our own intuition and inspiration. Give yourself space. Be kind to yourself as you settle into acceptance, but then choose to move on.
Midnight’s cancer has spread and her tumor is growing. There is nothing we can do for him except love him and make him feel comfortable. And still, my brave kitty loves life. Sitting on our lap, enjoying the sun and not worrying one iota about what’s going to happen next. He is in his moment knowing that he is loved there and forever.
Today, take a moment to breathe. Appreciate the wonder that you and your life are. Make room for inspired action. Correct course when necessary. I wish you joy on your journey. On the straight and quiet roads and on the crooked and bumpy roads, may you find the peace of acceptance, the willingness to adapt, and the curiosity and courage to move forward! –lpg