Lessons from Lucky
This morning as I was house cleaning, I decided to do a little disinfecting as well. I don’t typically use chemicals at home that might be toxic to people, pets, or the environment, but I felt it made sense to do it this time.
Before I got started, I put our dog Henry in the bedroom, closed the door and went looking for Lucky, our newly adopted kitty. Lucky is between six and seven years old and has been living with us for a month. I found him snoozing on the daybed in the exercise room in the basement. He woke for a moment and looked at me inquisitively. I was about to close the door, but I knew from past experience, this might not turn out well. I first met Lucky outside my office about six months before I had the opportunity to take him home. He would hang out by the front entrance and greet me and anyone else interested in some kitty love.
One day while at work, I decided to invite him inside. Once inside the front door of the building, my office was the very first one, so it seemed reasonable that it might be within his comfort zone to check it out. The first couple of minutes went okay, but then he seemed to panic, maybe thinking the kitty equivalent of I could get locked in here forever with no food or water or a thousand other scary possibilities. I left my office door open wanting to make him comfortable, but he panicked, flying through the office door to the front door pawing and clawing to get out.
A few days later however, he seemed ready to try it again. I opened the front door and he tentatively advanced into the hallway. I opened my office door and he timidly entered there. This time I sat down, sweet talked him, and made no moves. He investigated the space a bit as I quietly closed my office door on the chance he might take off down the hallway or shoot up the stairs. The moment he saw the door shut, panic again ensued. He scratched and clawed at the door, then flew up onto the furniture to look out the window, seeking an escape route. Again, witnessing his extreme anxiety, I quickly opened both doors and he fled back into his more familiar surroundings.
So, the morning when I was about to clean, Lucky was facing the same closed door situation, and I wondered what he would do. As a spirit-centered counselor, I’d seen people in similar, potentially anxiety producing situations. Some would wonder what they had done to deserve it. Others would panic and think that this was their lot in life and nothing good would ever come of it. Many would think harshly of the one perceived as causing the situation, questioning — how could you do this to me?
Prepared for whatever might happen, I quietly closed the door. This time, Lucky took it all in stride. I’m not sure that he even batted an eye. The difference was this time he knew me, he had a relationship with me. He had experienced me holding him, cuddling him, feeding him, and caring for him. He trusted me, even though the appearance of things — a closed door — had felt catastrophic just a few weeks earlier.
As I kept a listening ear and went about my cleaning, I began to think of this situation with Lucky as a metaphor for relationship with the Divine. How many times have I become upset, anxious, and even railed against God when something I thought should be mine turned out to be a closed door. I’ve since learned, however, to pause, take a few deep breaths and allow the gentle stream of Love and Grace that is always there. I’ve learned to trust in the relationship with my Larger Self, to trust that from that vaster perspective I am always being led toward something grander than the contracted, frustrated me could ever imagine.