I am having trouble with the cat.
Originally a stray, Osiris has lived with us for 5 of his 7 years. In the beginning he would hide for hours somewhere in the house needing to feel safe. Little steps but eventually he’d sit next to us on the couch accepting closeness but the smallest unexpected sound, like a sneeze, would set off his wild side and he would be off like a shot. With patience and love there has been great change. As he learned to trust he began to relax. I was so pleased with my ‘cat therapy’ and looked forward to him learning to give back as well as to receive. It’s been a challenge for not only him but me as well. My last cats were with me for 18 years and I am missing that intimacy of a cat asleep at the end of my bed. Not too long ago, I awoke with him purring contentedly astride my hip, giving me great hope.
Sadly though, he has reverted.
It all started when he brought home a new friend for dinner. A lovely black and white young cat. They became best buddies. The problem is she is always on alert. Also a stray, from probably a kitten, she does not settle. She seems happy, purring away but also happy to chew on your hand or dash through the house. She survives surfing the rush of adrenaline.
This morning, I saw a change in Osiris. He was in the yard coming over to the opened door until he caught sight of someone else in the kitchen. Shooting me a fearful look he darted away. He has returned to that non-trusting heightened state of alert.
The teaching of my cat clearly shows me how friends influence one another. We pattern match with the friends we keep. His new friend reminds him of his old life and his old behavior returns. The lesson is no matter how much therapy or growth, we can go back as well as forward. Pattern matching can either be positive or limiting. It is dependent on the mindsets involved.
They say if you really want to get on with life it involves letting go of the old patterns which no longer suit: perhaps the people you hang out with, your job, identity, home or lifestyle. This is never an easy process as we are letting go of what is familiar.
The teaching of Osiris shows it is all too easy to stop moving forward and revert.
It is tempting when making great change to pull back, put the brakes on and return to what we know. I wonder how he would be if his new friend refused her dinner invitation. Again the difference lies totally in our mindset. Do we embrace the new or accept limitation? As we grow we step through fear which act as a barrier defining our old life. If we stop, we slip back and fear returns. The look in Osiris’ eyes this morning showed clearly his old fear has awakened.
I will persevere and hopefully this is just on one of those learning curves as often to go forward we need to go back. So, I will be gentle and patient and who knows? I might end up with two cats asleep at the end of my bed.
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