Life lessons my cats have taught me.
I’ve watched my mom give so much of herself to the world around her. I’m not kidding, she’s a nurse who provides care to people with serious mental illnesses, often putting herself in dangerous situations while suppressing her own needs. In many ways, I am my mother’s daughter. It’s easier for me to invest my time in the people around me then it is to turn inward to my own needs. I watched a video about the idea of self compassion recently, distinct from self esteem, and it made me realize how hard I am on myself. Naturally, I turned to my cats for comfort and realized how much I can learn from them.
It’s okay to ask for what you need.
Goose will always let us know when her feeder is empty, when her litter box is full, and when it’s time for wet food. Me? I struggle to articulate what I need even to myself. I’ve been in pain for a long time, but I seem to have normalized it as part of who I am. This can only go on for so long before you reach a breaking point.
I’ve learned a lot this year about the importance of self advocacy. I’ve accepted that I have a progressive disease and I am now finally learning that its okay to ask for blood tests. What’s the worst that can happen, they say no? Okay for me, I do struggle with asking for help and getting rejected… But I will say, for the most part, my primary care physician will put the orders in. It’s pretty rewarding being right and seeing the results validate what you already new.
Comfort can be found in the oddest of places.
Cats follow the motto of “if it fits it ships” and will absolutely try to climb into anything they see. Everyone has their own definition of comfort. Its important to find what it is that brings you peace. For me? That can change day to day. I recently learned that there is a reason for my constant changing of clothes. I am incredibly sensitive to sensory things like fabrics against my skin, something actually associated to ADHD!
What works for me one day will be incredibly uncomfortable another day. It’s important to listen to what I need day to day, whether that’s a soak in the tub, relaxing on the couch, or napping under a…