Lessons from cats and the sun!

I’ve ummed and ahhed about writing this post, because it’s very personal and it reflects some things I’ve realised about myself that aren’t necessarily good! But then I’ve seen once more numerous examples of other people sharing this stuff and that gives me strength, so here goes.

I had let my brain take over again; let my thoughts run riot. I had unconsciously allowed my sense of happiness to stray outside of myself and more into someone else’s hands. I’ve learned pretty damn quickly this time that that doesn’t work. I’ve learned a much harder lesson in not over-planning life. But I’ve also found an amazing inner strength that I didn’t know I’d cultivated.

It was a total fluke that I was able to wwoof at the place after Queenstown, an absolute blessing that they were first to respond when I sent out emails in the hope of finding somewhere to escape the cold and the rain! They were people who understand about life and relationships and the trouble that the Earth is in, and are more than happy to openly talk about all of it. In amongst the beekeeping and cake-making and preserving and knitting and harvesting, I read some insightful books, had some fascinating conversations, felt sweetly appreciated and laughed and smiled a lot!

They had the cutest kitten, Lilly, who was so playful around me whatever I was doing, and gave me warmth and attention whenever she wanted to, and then dashed off to entertain herself. It made me think about that being exactly the same with people: I can’t ever control it, the people I have relationships with of any kind will give me love when it’s right for them, and only then, and I can just be grateful when I do receive it, in good faith, and completely give up any illusion of control that’s generated by the fact that we speak the same language.


A few days later I had the same thought about the sun: its intensity here gives that delicious warm-through-to-your-bones feeling that you get when someone really holds you, but you have to just be grateful when it’s there; the clouds will come over and take it away, ain’t nothin’ more you can expect and there’s no-one to blame!

However; we all hope it will come back.

I was given a stark wake-up call that my subconscious habits had re-established themselves: a person suddenly permanently removed their love from me and I realised that even though my conscious mind had been trying to approach things in a healthy way, underneath it all my brain had started harbouring expectations and hopes, gravitating towards thought patterns that are easy and full of assumptions instead of based on complete true communication. Because I’d given those thoughts power while I was calm, they went into overdrive when I felt this stressful situation.

A tough thing about travelling is that often the only tool of communication with everyone you care about is the written word, and as we’re all taught, this communication method is deeply flawed: it leaves vast messy holes for interpretation and assumption. The happiest way that people can deal with this is to assume the absolute best intentions from the other and let it go, no matter how much bravery that takes. I’m trying to stop avoiding my feelings, just accept the feeling of hollowness that opens up inside me and pay attention to it instead of trying to avoid falling in, because amazingly when I focus on it I find that it fills itself up with strength from inside again, and I’m surprised and calm!

I’m forced to be the best person I can be, because I’m about as far away from home as I could possibly be, I have nowhere to retreat to and fall apart, no obvious support network around me and I have to survive, eat, seize the opportunity I have at my fingertips here. It forces me to face the scary reality that my biggest obligation is to take COMPLETE responsibility for accepting, knowing, liking and enjoying myself – take control of my brain – in a world where almost everyone I know appears to depend on someone else for happiness. Yet throughout this I can smile and I continue to attract people who appreciate me and whom I appreciate. I can already feel moments of gratitude for the fact that this might be the best thing that could have happened to me! I’m looking forward to whatever life has in store for me next. 🙂





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Posted in Edievale, Invercargill, New Zealand, People, Riverton, Tapanui, The Catlins
4 comments on “Lessons from cats and the sun!
  1. Sam says:

    Despite it’s shortcomings the written word has at least one clear advantage in that it can be read and reread. I’ve been very grateful for that at some points even when I’ve kicked myself for feeling the need to reread!
    You are strong, stronger than you realise even though you’re learning. You are loved and lovely, there are people here counting down to your return.
    Chin up, buttercup! Xxx

    • Thanks Sam, love you! Perhaps the overwhelming sense of positivity I currently have didn’t come across – see, writing is flawed! For me personally, I’ve found re-reading to be a destructive thing to do. It would keep my mind in the past, looking for ‘answers’, when actually there are none and I can be much more happy in the present! So I try not to do it now. 🙂 x

  2. Rach says:

    Love the honesty Em…but please also remember when you are doing all this ‘accepting’ ‘being grateful’ and ‘hoping’…that you DESERVE and can HAVE (if you really want it) happiness and love and that ‘warm-through-to-your-bones feeling’ because someone wants to give it to you/experience it with you, it’s not just all about dependency on another person!

    You are an amazing person…and there are many who love and miss you lots!
    Positive thinking is key…and it seems you are doing just fine with that 🙂
    x x x

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