Whenever my daughter or I have a bad day or feel frustrated, sad or mad we call for a “Pile of Cats”! It’s a girl party on my bed where our cat spends most of her days and evenings. We plop ourselves down and wait for our masterfully aloof feline to succumb to being our therapy cat. She can’t help surrendering to the worship that ensues. We pet her, talk sweetly to her and play with her until she begins to purr loudly. When she’s done with us she walks a few feet away and plops down with her back to us indicating the session is over, which always makes us laugh. She also needs to bathe her entire body because we touched her. It’s a constant source of amusement.
As a Mom, I am the heart and soul of our family. One of the core things we value is trust. Everyone needs a soft place to fall when life gets to be too much. Sometimes we say or do things that we aren’t proud of and need to get it off our chest, express remorse and get to the underlying cause of our anger or sadness. It’s a place of no judgement. It’s a place of compassion and forgiveness for ourselves and others.
With all the wisdom I have acquired, I’m never prepared for how devastating it feels when my daughter is so upset she can’t stop crying. Processing intense feelings of fear, anger, frustration or guilt is serious business. Visiting those dark places is scary. Taking responsibility for our part is painful. Facing our fears alone is terrifying. Being the keeper of hearts in our home is serious business.
Finding the funny is serious business too! Those crying sessions most always end with uncontrollable laughter. Oh, the humanity of it all!
One of my best friends, Carol Woodliff, is a Shaman. The sign that hangs above her desk reads: “I am sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.” She told me it’s a Hawaiian practice of healing reconciliation and forgiveness. I love that.
Sometimes a Pile of Cats can be called simply because warm laundry just came out of the dryer. In fact, that happens a lot. All that warm and shnuggy goodness! Our cat can’t resist and neither can we.
Sometimes if I am too busy or gone most of the day, our normally silent cat will meow for “Pile of Cats.” Even if she could talk, she would never admit that she needs to get her quotient of love and attention too, and maybe forgiveness for a certain chair she’s been “working” on.
I always tell my daughter, “You feel how you feel. Your feelings are valid. We all show up in the world in ways we wish we didn’t sometimes. We take things personally and feel deeply. You always forgive me when I’m not doing so hot. And sometimes we are just scared. I wouldn’t change a thing about you. I only want to help you walk in this world and find peace and happiness.”
So, remember when the world gets to be too much to bear, call for a “Pile of Cats.”
No cat required.