11-24-16 The other day I told Felix that sometimes I felt like I was climbing up a very steep pit, when it came to the process of self growth. It takes a lot of effort to change and sometimes it seems like it would be easier to slide back down the pit. The only problem being what you land in isn't very appetizing. Since I began this work over a decade ago, I've had some slips and falls and I've definitely come face to face with my shadow. Yet I continue doing the work, because while the path is hard, the rewards are worth it. When I struggle I remind myself of this because while the struggle can be hard, the work is worth it in the end. Its only when we give up that we fail.
12-3-16 I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of fulfillment and what that looks like. I've also been paying attention to environmental stressors and how I respond to those stressors. The two are more linked than you might think, if only because how I've set up my environment is something I've changed because I've realized its amplified the stress instead of decreasing it. Seems to me that stress and fulfillment have an interesting relationship. Stress tells you that you aren't fulfilled (me anyway). So recognizing that is a good step.
12-5-16 What does it really mean to have a safe relationship? I've been pondering that the last few days.
12-9-16 Today Sun Ce died. I got him as a kitten thirteen years ago. He hadn't been eating much this week, so we took him in...It turned out he was in renal failure and it didn't look good. So we made the hard decision to let him go. I didn't want to keep him alive for my sake and the quality of life would not have been good. So we put him to sleep. I held him for a bit and said my goodbyes as did the rest of the family. I am so sad, I miss him so much and I know it will hit me at odd moments when I don't hear him or see him...I love you Sun Ce. Rest in peace.
12-10-16 Sun Ce's death has hit me hard. I look for him in his usual places and he isn't there. I hear his meow and then I realize it's just in my mind. Granted he died yesterday, so of course his death would be on my mind, but I think why it hits me so hard is because he was really the first cat that I got, that was mine. I had other cats before him, but back in December of 2003 I walked in the snow to a pet store and saw this little Gray and White kitten, so fierce and playful and he spoke to me. He told me he wanted to go home with me. So I took him home with me. He could fit into the palm of my hand...
I realized yesterday that I took Sun Ce for granted in some ways. I had this notion that he would be with me for at least a few more years. He had been with me through so much, and I just took that presence for granted. I love him, but I wonder if I could've done more for him. To him, I was always first. He always wanted attention from me, more than anyone else, because I was the person he'd chosen. Even when other people were giving him attention he'd look over at me, letting me know that who he really wanted attention and love from was me. And now he's gone. I'll never see his eyes looking toward me for attention or feel his fur under my hand and hear the rumble of his purr or hear him meow for attention.
I miss him so keenly. I was doing my stillness meditation today and I felt my emotions surge and my mind drift to him. Part of me wanted to just hold on so tightly and I realized how that was attachment, but it didn't change that I felt these emotions so strongly. He is gone, my Kirin beast, my Sun Ce and now all I have are memories of him. No more experiences to look forward, no more days to travel together, no more moments of comfort and love. It makes me realize how easy it is to take for granted who is important to you in your life. You can fall into the illusion that they'll be here forever, but there is no forever and there is no guarantee that they'll be there from one day to the next. So whether its a cat or a person I resolve to be more present and appreciative of the moment I'm with those beings who are important to me. And in doing that I hope I can also honor Sun Ce and appreciate this one last lesson he's given me.
12-17-16 In The True Source of Healing, the author talks about how seeking stillness actually keeps you from it. He's right. The past few months I've sought it and it's eluded me. So for this last week instead of trying to force it I just sat and let whatever happen, happen. And lo and behold there were a few days where I hit stillness. It's a good reminder that what a person fixates on is what is hardest to grasp. The more you want something, the further it can be, but when you can just let go, do what you need to do and let it happen, it happens. In my case, it being stillness. I let myself be still instead of trying to seek stillness.
Beyond that I've continued to process Sun Ce's death. I've been in denial some ways, looking for him in places he would usually be. Eventually I'll hit acceptance.
12-20-16 We had to go to the vet again because one of our other cats was throwing up. Turned out, he's just stressed by Sun Ce's death, but it was a little nerve racking for us, so soon after Sun Ce's death. At a solstice vigil I attended, during the meditation, I ended up connecting with Sun Ce. He wanted to check on me. It surprised me...it wasn't what I expected, but this loss has been on my mind so much and I think it was his way of reassuring me that wherever he is, he's fine and its ok to let go.