This is my personal truth.
I hold her soft warm body gently in my arms. Cleo looks up at me with her piercing emerald green eyes, filled with love, filled with trust. Not understanding why the tears are silently running down my cheeks. Not understanding why we are in this strange place and why they had put this piece of plastic into her leg. Not understanding why I keep whispering “I’m so sorry” over and over again.
But I know. I know and my heart is shattering into a million pieces.
I was expecting her to fight. She was always fighting. There were always claws and hissing and loud war cries involved. But not in this moment. She is so still. She doesn’t move. Just keeps looking into my eyes.
“Are you ready?” the vet asks in a quiet voice. I nod and watch as he inserts the needle into the drip and slowly pushes the liquid into her body. Instantly her body goes limp in my arms. Not the type of limp that we are familiar with. It is as if her insides have turned into pure liquid and only her skin is holding her together.
Never before have I understood at this level that it is not our bones or muscles that give us solidity. It is only our souls. The moment the soul leaves the body, nothing solid stays behind. I have never understood at this level. And I don’t understand in this moment because my mind is going numb with pain. I will only understand in a few days from now when I ask a different question on my run.
The vet leaves the room. I look at her little body in my arms.
I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to put her on the cold metal table so instead I take her blanket out of the carrier and gently wrap her in it.
I don’t know what to do. So I move into the pain.
My knees give and as I sink to the floor I hear all the heartbreak being torn from my body. And I cry.
I cry because for the past 11 years this furry little cat has been my ‘beautiful monster in the cupboard’. She has been my husband’s little princes.
I cry because Cleopatra was probably one of the most beautiful cats who have ever lived, but the world never got to see her beauty because she was terrified of life and so she lived in my bathroom cupboard. The only people who were ever allowed to touch her were myself and my husband.
I cry because she was my daughter. I have seen her grow from a tiny little bundle of fur into a beautiful young woman. I held her when she was pregnant and stayed by her side when she gave birth. I saw her sadness when her kittens found new homes. I saw her fear growing as she got older and her world became smaller and smaller until all that was left was the bathroom cupboard.
I cry because I love her.
Eventually the vet comes back. I don’t know what to do so I say “Can we leave her in the blanket? I don’t want her to get cold.” He nods his head and says “Few have the courage to do the right thing.”
Few have the courage to do the right thing. But I have to be courageous. Because I am a warrior.
The path of the warrior is not an easy one. And sometimes it means following the pain so that we can understand the lessons that lies hidden underneath.
As I look around the world I see so many people hurting. But they don’t have the courage to go into the pain and so instead they try to numb it with alcohol or drugs or food or sex or over work. Society is teaching us that pain is a bad thing to be avoided at all cost! Yet I have learned in my life that pain, both physical and emotional, is a master teacher who provides me the opportunity to become stronger. And that strength is needed to have the courage to stand up in this world and speak our truth with honor.
One of the most profound lessons I’ve ever learned is that our outer world is a reflection of our thoughts, both conscious and unconscious. The reason why most people refuse to embrace this truth is because of the power that it places in our hands! Indeed, we are the co-creators of our lives.
While life is wonderful and things go our way this power is easy to embrace. Yet when times get tough we stubbornly refuse to find the truth in this because it hurts like hell! Instead we blame the world at large, the government, the economy, our family, the availability of drugs, war, poverty, the list is endless.
As entrepreneurs we experience pain on a regular basis. After all, when starting a company, we are birthing a dream, and we raise that dream as if it is a child. And that child needs to learn how to walk, and fall, and get scraped knees, and get criticized by others – and that hurts. Sometimes we close that big deal and we are euphoric in our power. Other times the deals go sour, the bank accounts run on empty and the pain is immense. We lie awake at night wondering how we are going to turn this around. Sometimes we have to let our employees go – and that hurts!! As entrepreneurs we have got to learn to move into the pain, to learn the lessons hidden underneath so that we can heal the negative beliefs and move forward to prosper!
I don’t mean to make this sound like an easy process. It’s not. For one thing I know I first have to experience the pain. I have to allow my body to feel it. I have to allow my body and my mind to go down into the dark and to be immersed in this. There always comes a time when I simply can’t bare the pain anymore and that is when I reach out to the Universe for strength. This is when I hand over to God and ask for the lessons that I need to learn in order for me to move back into the light. I ask, I trust, I let go.
And the answers always find me. Not immediately, but when I’m ready. Sometimes it takes days. Sometimes it takes months. Some of my greatest answers have taken years to find me. But they always do. In all honesty, most of my insights have always happened whilst I was training. It still does. Ask, trust, let go.
I believe that as entrepreneurs we have chosen to be warriors! We have chosen to walk a path filled with challenges that can make us stronger, so that we can lead the way for others.
I’m sharing this experience of my personal loss with you today to encourage you to move into the pain and uncover the learning so that you can become stronger and walk in this world the proud warrior that you were born to be. Warriors cry because they are brave enough to feel pain. Warriors don’t try to numb the pain with external drugs which will eventually lead to nothing but death.
The loss of Cleo still sits heavy in my heart. But she has reminded me to follow the pain. She has reminded me to never waste my life and my message by hiding in the cupboard. To rather take the punches along with the hugs because that is how I know I am alive! She has given me the beautiful insight that it is my soul that holds my body upright, and that my soul is more powerful than any bone or muscle. My soul burns with passion and that passion is what drives me forward every single day. My body is simply the vehicle that takes me around. She has reminded me that at the end of the day, my soul is energy and energy is eternal. Therefor Cleo is eternal.
Walk proud in the halls of Valhalla my brave cat warrior. For you have brought so much goodness to my life and I am eternally grateful to you. And in celebration of your spirit, today I will walk with honor.