To love someone, or something is an act of fearlessness and courage. I know love should come naturally and without reservation, but for many of us, our past has encouraged us to put up barriers that guard our heart and set rules for entry. So many of us have lost love through ended relationships, parental abandonment or death of a furry best friend. When this loss happens our hearts quickly construct a defensive castle filled with armed guards and drawbridges hovering over pools of alligators anxiously awaiting their next snack.
But that imaginary castle is penetrable and often in ways we least expect. Love has a way of sneaking in the back door and melting away the walls with a soft whisper. Love has the power to heal the wounds we are so desperate to protect from more damage. Love is the healer, which is why it needs to come back in.
In my quest to block love I realize that my new kittens had no hold on me like my last beloved cat Ella. I had her for 16 years and she was the love of my life. She sat with me at the worst times of my marriage, patiently taking in my pain. When I divorced she held all of my sorrow and listened with ears of the most dedicated friend. I know many of you have lost your furry best friends too, and we all have found the loss to be unbearably hard.
But life goes on. We either go at it alone, or we give in and try again. We stretch our emotional trampoline, but keep one foot on land in fear we will fall if we love again. It hadn't even dawned on me how much I was holding back love. That is until my sweet kitten became sick.
I know now that I had not let him in. I had not allowed my heart to embrace the beauty that he was giving me. That of unconditional love.
Now I sit here, with him laying weakly on my lab, in my arms, and cuddled under the covers and realize that I have opened my heart to him. In spite of my resistance, the love broke through the gate and now I'm immersed in all that he has to share with me. No matter how little time he has on this planet, I am thankful to love again.
My mom reminded me, in her brilliant wisdom, that these creatures come into our lives to help us love. They teach us about fearless love, because that is what they offer us in return. I have accepted that he may not live much longer. In spite of my heart opening wide for him, I am happy that I opened up that stubborn drawbridge. He has given me the truest understanding of unconditional love. I really can't help loving him. Nor am I going to try.
Thank you Pepper for your gift. I will always love you.