And a little child shall lead them: Lessons from a kitten.

A couple of Wednesdays ago just before our regular Meditation Circle, I was in our workshop getting things set up and chatting with one of our regulars when we heard Kate calling us to come outside.  I ran out to the front porch, thinking that she was going to point out some unusual butterfly or breathtaking sky.  Instead, I found her holding a tiny kitten that could barely have been a couple of days old.

I looked over the expanse of open ground around us, trying to wrap my mind around where it could have come from or how it had made its way to our doorstep with as yet unopened eyes.  I had been on the same porch just 10 minutes earlier without noticing it, stopping to listen to what I thought was a strange bird call.  It must have been his high pitched mewing I’d heard, which stopped shortly after it had started.  I had scanned the sky and landscape, but not looked down on the concrete at my feet.  Kate had come down from washing our dinner dishes and discovered the little male who was so young he still had the stub of his umbilical cord attached.  There was no sign of its mother or any siblings.  How did it get there, we wondered?  It was a mystery, and we knew that all mysteries are sacred.

For the next two days we cared for the kitten, keeping him in a box with a heating pad and ferrying him back and forth between home and The Mesa so we could feed him with an eyedropper.  We found recipes for kitten formula on the internet, rounded up ingredients, coaxed him to eat and urinate, and cheered when he did.  At night we put his box in the bathroom near our bed, sometimes getting up in the wee hours when he cried.  Most of all, we held, stroked, cuddled, and talked to him in an effort to console, comfort, reassure, and soothe him in his mother’s absence as he cried incessantly for her.  In spite of our many pressing projects, loving and caring for this infant feline became our focus for the moment.  His needs became our NOW.

Almost right away, I tried to make pictures in my mind of where he would eventually end up living, but no images came.  It didn’t seem right to have him invade the domain of our Mesa cat, Sedona (she had already hissed at him) and unlikely that he would be accepted by the outdoor cats we looked after at home.  I knew if he survived we’d have to find a home for him with someone who would really love him as we were quickly coming to and that might be hard.  I also knew that after looking after him for the several weeks necessary for him to be strong enough to leave our care, we’d bond with him, making parting with him close to impossible.  I decided I could only release the outcome.

Kate and I had experience with newborn kittens and had seen that they don’t always survive even with their mother’s presence.  We knew this one’s chances of survival without her were slim.  He seemed to be doing OK, but on Saturday morning when we woke up we found him cold and weak.  How could his condition have changed so fast?  I warmed him up against my body and gave him a healing.  In my intention, I asked for help for him, but could not bring myself to ask Spirit for him to be kept alive.  I knew he was going to die and I asked for his peace.  I handed him back to Kate and left the room for a couple of minutes to take in what was happening.  She held him in her hands and told him to find her own mother’s spirit on the Other Side.  “She’ll love you and take care of you,” she told him, and felt his spirit leave.  We mourned his passing and consoled each other.

We had seen people and animals die before and knew his spirit had been released back into the Allness to return as another beautiful kitten someday.  We understood that everything is born, lives for a time, and dies.  Still, we felt very sad and found ourselves already wondering what we were to learn from our all too short experience with the kitten.  We knew it had not arrived on our doorstep “by accident”, so what was Creation up to?  Were we in the middle of a lesson?  We did a ceremony for the little kitten and buried him under the oak tree next to our deck.  The flurry of activity that had started only 3 days before was now over, but the meaning of it was just beginning to unfold.

I had written an email to one of our Meditation Circle regulars to tell her that the kitten had died.  She wrote back sending her condolences and saying that she knew that although the kitten’s life had been short, it had been blessed to be loved by the two of us while alive.  I wrote back to her to humbly thank her and found myself writing something that surprised me as the words appeared on the monitor in front of me: “Thanks for your kind comments about the little kitten.  He was only with us for a couple of days and we still miss him.  He was a reminder of how tenuous life is and how the cycles of birth/death/rebirth work.  We got a chance to love something intensely for a couple of days.”  I found myself getting “choked up” and recognized the constriction in my throat chakra.  A chance to love something intensely… the words hung in my mind for a long time after I sent the email.

I went to find Kate to tell her about what I had written.  As we talked about the concept of “loving intensely,” I thought about how seldom it seemed we got the opportunity to let ourselves love someone or something as selflessly and intensely as we had that kitten.  While mulling this over, I had several flashes of insight that triggered deep emotion.  Certainly, that’s what our cats were doing when they rubbed and rubbed against us or had to be right on top of whatever we were doing.  They were loving us intensely, but so too, was all of Nature.  So many of us are unable to sense this because we are blocking the feeling of that kind of love out of traumatized habit.  I turned my attention to it and could feel it there amidst the Allness.

Kate and I marveled at what we were beginning to see—a whole new view of what was already and always happening in the world around us.  In that moment we became aware—or simply remembered that the hummingbirds want to love us intensely, the wind wants to love us intensely, the Sun, the plants, even the furniture in our bedroom wanted to love us intensely because that is what holds everything together in the Allness.  We recognized that was exactly what God and Creation wanted to do for us, to love us intensely, and I could sense that deep inside I was completely unwilling to be loved that way.  I was at best merely compensating, so traumatized had I been about love itself.  Now aware, I had choices I could make.

I realized in a conscious way, maybe for the first time, that I also wanted to give out love intensely.  I remember being that way as a small child, but I came to feel too uncomfortable about it to later do so.  Maybe that started with the experience of wanting to love my birth family intensely and having them turn away.  I wanted to love God and Nature intensely, but pretended to myself that I’d feel silly when, without proper guidance, I was really too self-conscious to let it fly.  I wanted to love a lot of people intensely over the course of my life who didn’t or couldn’t accept it and my empathic sensing of their discomfort with the process wigged me out.  I wanted to love shy newcomers to The Mesa, clerks at Rite-Aid, and strangers on the street intensely, but could sense they were not open to that vibration.  Loving intensely is my Piscean nature, my soul nature, but it seemed like such a hard thing to do in our current societal state: 3rd Dimensional reality.

We human beings tend to have trouble dealing with intensity in general and many people seem to be increasing their avoidance of intense experiences, even intensely good ones.  Their energy systems are too overloaded and underpowered to deal with them.  In those moments that I talked with Kate after I wrote the email I recognized that as much as the two of us loved each other, we too, had been shying away from loving each other as intensely as our relationship as Twin Flame spirits afforded.  (I felt the possibility of it when we first met and was frankly frightened by it.)  Sadly, the trauma of our previous life experiences and coping habits made it such that we were sometimes having trouble with the high level of intensity we were already experiencing with each other.  Could we imagine what it could turn into if we were able to comfortably ramp it up?  We thumbed through the possibility in our minds.

I felt a deep sadness begin to wash over me and tears rolled down my cheeks.  I knew it wasn’t just me who was shying away from intense love.  So many people around us were too afraid or too self absorbed to consciously engage in it on their own.  The way we humans have generally come to deal with each other, Nature, and Creation in 3rd-Dimensional reality was keeping intensely loving from being the norm.  I saw that part of what the Mayan Calendar energy shows about the Evolution of Creation is that all of us are being guided towards unconditional love; loving everything and everyone intensely with no strings attached.  This was true even as we approached the “darkest” part of the current cycle, the 5th Night (8/18-9/4/11.)  I saw that the light of loving intensely no matter what could take us all through any upcoming darkness if only enough of us would choose to partake of it.

Kate did her best to comfort me and I collected myself so we could confirm with Kinesiology (muscle testing) what we more than suspected.  Both of us gave weak or “NO” responses to the idea of loving or being loved intensely.  We got ready to do our little guided head-turning healings to unlock the stuck emotional switches inside of each of us to remedy the situation.  We started with Kate asking me to allow myself to be loved intensely, and moving my head from side to side as if I was shaking it “NO”.  I could feel the deep inner resistance.  It was so great that when she stopped and let go, I continued to slowly shake my head, squinched up my face, and began coughing.  She then repeated the triggering statement and guided me in nodding “YES”, but I could feel the old pattern holding fast.  We kept going.

During the second go round of guided head movements, I had an epiphany.  As Kate had been moving my head, I had silently asked inside myself WHY IN THE WORLD I would be so obstinate in refusing intense love or any other love, not really expecting an answer.  When she paused, I got a bizarre, but frank reply that I felt more than heard: I liked saying NO, and I always wanted to say NO before I said YES.  Saying NO first gave me time to dodge, stall, and check out all the angles.  It was a safety mechanism.

I was stunned by the smug compactness of this confession.  It was shocking to me that I had been keeping such a secret from my thinking awareness.  The good news was that this part of my fragmented and merely human psyche had revealed itself.  (Had it meant to?)  I instantly recognized the energy and my less-than-conscious implementation of the pattern in many instances.  I saw times I wanted my NO’s to be heard and acknowledged before I’d acquiesce to YES, telling myself the principle mattered.  On some occasions when I didn’t get to reject first, agreement sometimes didn’t emerge at all.  In some cases, I was marginally aware I was getting stuck in my NO when I didn’t really want to be, secretly wishing for an opportunity to relent.  It all seemed so convoluted in my spinning thoughts, but to my inner mind, it was in perfect order.

There were times it seemed so spiritually inappropriate to say NO that even though I wanted to say it, I held it in and would tacitly agree—just not with my whole heart, resulting in a kind of confused social dance; Goin’ Through the Motions.  When alone, there was no one for me to disagree with or hold me back except myself, and I couldn’t blame anyone else for my wanting to say NO to whatever was at hand.  I had “NO-itis”.

I was largely oblivious to my NO/YES pattern but Kate (much to her frustration) had witnessed it being acted out many times in our 9 years together.  Trouble was, the format changed enough that she just didn’t recognize it for what it was.  Now I was seeing it too, and realized that I could never go back to not-knowing or not-reconciling it.  It was hard for me to understand where the pattern had originally come from, but it was instantly obvious that I wasn’t the only one I knew who practiced it.  It was right there in the Allness.

How many people say YES when they mean NO and NO when they mean YES?  Probably a lot, adding to our general confusion with each other.  Saying NO can be a protective maneuver, as refusal at times avoids painful experience.  Defiant NO’S get attention, more so than compliant agreement.  Saying NO several times when we know we are going to eventually get to YES is a way to control things, too.  It makes people beg and plead, increasing our feelings of power.  Then we get to be magnanimous, relent, and say YES.

Saying YES right away can make us seem “easy” or a pushover, but metaphysically speaking, saying YES is much more powerful than the NO’s.  Saying YES is a process of letting go and acquiescing to experience—just like allowing ourselves to be loved intensely.  Wanting to reflexively say NO is part of our common experience from the linear, 3rd-Dimensional reality that we’ve all been living in and evolving through.  I was hearing my pattern echoing in the Allness, as it had done for centuries.

It wasn’t lost on Kate and me that our inner upheaval was happening as the energies of the 5th Night were ramping up.  Historically, the 5th Night is the darkest of the “dark” during every level of the Mayan Calendar and is a time of great discord, with breakdown of existing systems and institutions.  It has resulted in destruction and major conflict in the world in times past, (WWII occurred during a 5th Night for example.) but the energies of this same kind of conflict and breakdown are also reflected inside each and every one of us during this period.  This is not a bad thing, but allows us to make better choices for ourselves and as a species.  That was part of the beauty of it.  The energies of the Flow of Creation were pushing us to change and we were going with that flow—at first unconsciously and then with awareness.  Our outmoded ways of being were being increasingly challenged by these unseen forces.  Would they crumble under the pressure or hold fast?

It was time for me to say YES without haggling and I knew it.  Kate repeated the triggering statement and turned my head again.  I could feel the pattern breaking up.  I yawned deeply, a sign of releasing energy.  The old pattern of negating evaporated and with it my long ago chosen reality of not allowing myself to be loved intensely shifted.  Kinesiology confirmed it.  With my knee-jerk system of saying NO before I said YES held to the light of day, the second issue of not allowing myself to give love intensely shifted spontaneously, without the need of more head turning.

We worked with Kate’s version of the same resistance next, and had to clear each form (loving intensely, and being loved intensely) as separate healings.  It didn’t matter why.  We both felt very open afterwards and could feel a difference in how we felt towards the world.  The energy between the two of us became more tolerant and loving, something we are still basking in days later.  The Allness felt much friendlier too, as we accepted more of the love enfolded within it and looked past the “yucky stuff”.  We know that more upheaval is already rumbling through our lives and likely to bring us to new breaking points.  This, in the long run, is a good thing, and decidedly necessary.

It was just two weeks ago that we found the kitten on our doorstep, but the lessons from this mundane but miraculous event will likely continue to play out for weeks or months to come.  Our short time with such a tiny being helped us resolve huge personal issues we had been struggling with for much of our lives because we chose to love him and to pay attention to what he had to teach us.  He reminded us to listen to the Allness and watch the movement of Creation so that we would see miracles in commonplace occurrences and draw our healing from them.  He helped us remember that life is a mystery and we are grateful for that.  His appearance was an answer to our prayers, and we hope that somehow, we were to his.  “Mitakuye Oyasin.” (All My Relations)

About Brad Silberberg

Brad Silberberg, director of The Mesa Creative Arts Center in Burgettstown, PA (Pittsburgh area) is an artist, holistic healer, spiritual leader, and change agent.
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One Response to And a little child shall lead them: Lessons from a kitten.

  1. Sherrie Hartzberg says:

    There seems to be a miracle in every little thing we do. When we consciously choose to do something kind, the miracle doubles!

    Love all your stories Brad. Still wish you guys were out this way!! (So. Hills)