So, my last post hinted that I would be talking with you next about giving up. Doesn’t sound too inspirational, but appearances certainly are not what they seem!
I had come to what felt like a really dismal day not too long ago. A day where I felt the word failure creeping in along with give up. The give up had to do with recognizing that something I had put all of my heart and effort into was now coming, inexplicably, to an end. I hadn’t wanted to see it. Yet, I had also reached the nearly undeniable stage with it. And that night, I lay on my bed at the edge of giving up. My cat Boris was beside me. I told him that I may have to give up, feeling very sorry for myself in a true heart sorrow grieving kind of way.
What he replied with startled me into a new awareness and understanding. The very presence of my cat Boris, his heart and inner voice said to me, “Good! Give up!”
“Wha?” I responded, in utter dismay. “Boris! Why would you say that to me?”
He replied calmly, “I gave up once. Then you found me. That was when my life began again! So….give up!”
I sat in a stunned pause, taking in this known information being applied to me in a whole new way.
Gradually, as my mind processed what he was really saying, Boris changed my perspective. He helped me to see that it isn’t failure to give up. I simply began feeling that way because I had invested so much of my self into it. And that even though I may feel like I am stepping off a cliff into a dark unknown chasm – in giving up what has been for something yet unknown – it is really for the best. Onward and upward! I looked at Boris thinking how amazing he is and how brave.
And here is the missing piece to the story: About 11.5 years ago I went to the local animal shelter, not planning on adopting, but simply visiting. Actually, I had felt a repeated nagging feeling that I ought to go. So, I did. The first thing I saw when I entered the room, was Boris, in the top cage as you walk in, not noticing all the people looking at him because he was too busy being disgusted that he had been washed. All the other cats were in desperation to attract a rescuer for adoption and his demeanor was, “What the hell do they think they were doing, washing me like that?” ignoring all the people as he looked down at himself in disgust. I casually observed him from a distance. Some college girls oohed and awwed at him. I instantly found myself thinking, They can’t take care of him the way he needs. Next, I found myself chatting with the person caring for Boris. She told me that she had named him and that he had been found abandoned on a freeway. It was a freeway area near our city that has fencing separating it from the countryside. Most likely he had been thrown from a car and left. She said he was dirty when they picked him up. The kind of dirty that cats only get when they have given up, she said sadly. She mentioned that he had also been sick with a cold and and had just come out from quarantine. I adopted him after that conversation. Later that day they called to say Boris had been put back in quarantine because of the cold. They mentioned that this happened right after I left and that he would not have been available for adoption a minute later. I waited 1.5 weeks and then insisted that he come home. I could not imagine he could get better back in quarantine in a cage. They said yes, and I brought him home on Father’s Day 2003.
Everyone that met him always made some kind of coo or aw. There is a charisma and a handsomeness to him, that Boris. The first year that he lived with us he experienced PTSD and his doctor had him take an anti-depressant for 3 months “to help him remember how to feel normal again”. What I noticed about Boris in that first year was that he had definitely been outside during a major storm because he was always so scared during storms back then. He would go to the basement and hide in a corner behind something. It also seemed that there had been a man in his life that hadn’t been too nice to him. I could tell by how Boris first interacted with my husband and then how Boris’s heart melted and began to adore my husband as he felt his love and kindness. Right away, Boris showed me that he had found a job at our house. Like a valiant knight, he vowed to watch over our then 2.5 year old daughter. And he did, devotedly. Every night he would watch over her without fail. Going with the knight theme, Boris always runs to the aid of anyone in the house who he thinks is hurting, in pain or in need of help, animal or human. He runs to whomever it is and offers his concern, presence and help. If he were a human he would be a first responder, nurse or healer. And, Boris did indeed remember how to feel normal and never needed meds again. Eleven years later he is happier than ever and aging with grace and a definite zest of wisdom.
So, you see, Boris’s response to me was profound. It came from a deep place. And it helped me to take the steps needed of acceptance of what is and moving in the now into the next amazing and exciting chapter of my life. So, yeah, I highly recommend it, if it is time, appropriate, respectful of life and ethical, then yes, by all means, give up.