02 May Kitty Lickins & Spiritual Awakenings
I was watching our tiny kitty Fiona do some lickins this morning (lick herself, for those of you not versed in the irritatingly saccharin language of catspeak) and it made me wonder how she knows where to lick.
There doesn’t appear to be a logic to her choice of body part. A few tongue passes at the back thigh, some hard rock head bangs to get at the space under her chin. Does she sense that these are dirty places? Or does she have some kind of lick-by-number body map in her brain that she just works her way through over and over?
What about Humans?
For that matter, how do we know when we need to bathe? I imagine it’s not always because we notice we actually stink. Sometimes we feel dirty. Sometimes we mentally calculate time since last shower. Sometimes it’s a habit, or a comfort, or a space to ourselves for ten minutes and has little to do with the cleaning itself.
What about mental/emotional/psychological hygiene? How do we know it’s time for a brainwash?
A special invite
It’s with this in mind I invite you to my off-the-grid nature commune….
For real, how do you know you need some mental/emotional/psychological hygiene? And what do you do to get it?
It’s a big question, I know. With wide ranging answers, I am sure. The question presupposes one recognizes it as an aspect of life that might even need attention.
There was a time I didn’t realize my mental/emotional/psychological wellbeing was a thing. It’s not that everything was hunky dory for me, I just wasn’t aware of myself in that way. When I got aware of myself in that way, I didn’t know there were lots of tools to care for myself along these dimensions, so what I became aware of was mostly overwhelming and felt unchangeable. The ignorance was simpler, but more destructive.
Looking back, I would call this bourgeoning awareness of my mental/emotional/psychological self my awakening to a spiritual dimension in my life. The dark night of my soul, perhaps. This tracks with my feelings of unchangeable overwhelm. Eventually the sun shall rise on the horizon, and with the dawning day comes…a really long walk ahead and a whole lotta questions about what I’m seeing in the light of day.
One thing I learned at a young age, having grown up as an unchurched heathen child in the bible belt, is to be wary of anyone offering with certainty a lot of answers to life’s big questions. At some point much later in life, I learned to think critically about what others so convincingly and charismatically explain.
It’s a practice of discernment. I think it’s in the personal questioning, contemplation, and exploration we grow, and walk our own meandering path towards the horizon. There are other people around to share their two cents. We are never totally alone, but in a way…
Seeing with your own two eyes
I have a friend who tells me this story of how, as a girl, she realized she was the only one that could see through her own eyes, and that she could never ever see through anyone else’s. I mean it literally, she could never see what someone else’s eyes were seeing. There was no way to physically do that. No matter what, she’d be seeing what she was seeing through her own eyeballs and they’d be seeing through theirs. It’s one of those thoughts that can keep looping, like standing between two mirrors and seeing infinity shrink in the distance. It’s can be mind blowing…and maybe a touch lonesome.
So, dear reader and friend, thank you for spending time with my meandering thoughts this morning as I attempt to describe to you what I’ve seen through my eyes (kitty lickins and spiritual awakenings, it turns out). I’d love to hear about what you’ve seen through yours.