In my last post I briefly shared about an unexpected emergency surgery my cat was undergoing, as well as my impromptu decision to create a GoFundMe account. Within less than 24 hours I was given hundreds of dollars towards a lofty goal, more than I ever expected when I created the account. Friends and strangers donated in multiple increments coming together proving that no amount was too small.
Each donation I received brought tears to my eyes, some from friends, some from strangers. This process happened so quickly, and has permanently changed a piece of my heart in a way I never imagined possible in such a short period of time. The generosity of giving and helping with my cat, while unplanned and not ideal, has shown me how powerful we as a species can be when we come together.
This season is known for gifts and giving, but when the gifts are this monumental, they can change hearts.
I spent a lot of 2017 with my focus inward. I continued to struggle with my health, and with finding my voice in the world. I spent far too many days with my arrows pointing in when they should have been pointing out. What we focus on continues to manifest, and I can guarantee that my focus on healing while helpful at times, caused more mental turmoil than necessary.
What if I had spent more time stopping to smell the roses?
I don’t claim to be perfect, but I don’t feel that I’m selfish. With the recent events regarding my cat I am inspired to turn this situation into something good. The inspiration I feel from the love and support I’ve been given has been humbling in so many ways, and while I am not a fan of new year resolutions, I can tell you I have an unexpected outlook on 2018.
This year it’s time to make a plan that focuses on other people.
This year I plan to spend less time focusing on myself, and more time focusing on others. So much of my life has passed me by the last three years because my obsessions and thoughts were elsewhere when I should have been present in the moment. How sad would it be to come face to face with death, and regret living a life where most of your time was spent inside the bubble of your own mind.
Dark thought, but necessary thought.
How many times do we read story after story about the healing power of helping others? How many times do we experience these healing moments, and quickly forget about them when problems arise? In the past I escaped to the woods when times got hard, or I would isolate myself, but what would happen if I challenged myself to help someone else when I was feeling low?
This can be as simple as giving someone my time, and being truly present in the moment.
My cat was given 12 hours to live if he didn’t make it to a specialist. The total cost for the procedure and multiple emergency rooms he visited was thousands of dollars. If we chose not to pay, he would have needed to be euthanized. I could never place a price tag on my family members, and my pets are my family.
The emotional scar I would have been given if I took his life prematurely was a burden I chose not to carry.
It’s been six months since I said goodbye to my 20 yr old cat, I wasn’t ready to say another goodbye. I spent a good amount of money on my last cat before we had to send him over the rainbow bridge, but we did all that we could and I don’t regret a single penny spent. Having a pet is a commitment I feel should not be taken lightly, and not doing all that I can is never an option.
I don’t expect to get anywhere near my goal, but every penny I’ve been given was a penny more than I expected.
What is life worth if we don’t have others around to enjoy it with? No price tag is too large when it comes to love and life. Money is variable, and it can always be remade, but life can never be given back. Not to our pets, and not to ourselves. I cannot thank those that donated enough, not just because it helps financially, but because of the emotional hug it gave me.
I’ve never felt so loved, and this was the perfect reminder for me to focus my energy on other people.
Sometimes others need our help or our attention when it’s not convenient, like an emergency vet clinic that’s open on a holiday, but these are the times when help is most appreciated. This new year I don’t plan to neglect myself, because doing so would jeopardize others, but I plan to better myself for different reasons. I need to better myself in order to fully show up for other people.
A simple change in perspective was all I needed. A reflection of how I’ve been living the last year.
I plan to do my part to pay it forward once the dust has settled with my current situation. The thought of bringing the unbelievable joy I feel from each donation is a feeling I want to share with as many people as possible. Sometimes all we need is to know that someone cares, and that someone is listening.
Going into the new year I leave you with this – ask yourself what would happen if you made small changes to turn your arrows outward.
In a world that is so convoluted with hatred, my heart is full of abundant love receiving such unexpected generosity. Prayers for recovery are welcomed and appreciated as he continues to heal. To some he’s “just a cat,” but he has saved me from so many heartaches in life, it was time for me to save him.
Thank you all, from the bottom of my heart.