RIDING THE CAT
I had a dream last week in which I was on a horse, an imposing beast of great strength and rippling muscles. I don’t remember where I was going, but it was important for me to get there as fast as possible. As I rode boldly forth, however, I was dismayed to discover that the horse was becoming smaller, frail, and withered. I continued trying to spur it onward, urgently, but began to worry that I might hurt it or even break its back with my weight. Finally, it became unridable, too weak to carry me. And I discovered that the horse had turned into my elderly little cat, Dolly, who died two years ago this month.
I share this with you because it was pretty intense. It felt mythological, like something from a fairy tale. And the interpretation seemed fairly obvious — I mean, it probably doesn’t take a Jungian analyst to decipher it as a fear of running out of steam, depletion, losing juice and momentum, and failing to make it to my destination.
Anybody else feeling this way?
My poor husband has to listen to a lot of my dreams because I remember many of them and they’re often pretty vivid, so of course I described this one to him. It had come to me in the midst of a particularly busy stretch, when I was feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities.
So as I was telling Travis about it, I said: “I think I’m just going to have to get good at winging it, plowing onward even if I’m not ready, even if it’s half-assed.”
Travis, bless him, responded, “Or maybe you’re going to have to practice trusting that you can be excellent even if you aren’t as prepared as you think you need to be.”
I’m a very lucky man. And Travis was absolutely right.
Our fears of insufficiency usually are more enervating than our undertakings and responsibilities themselves. Worrying and fretting that we don’t have enough of whatever we think it’s gonna take is, in itself, depleting and exhausting.
The thing is, we’re going to get through it, we’re going to get most of it done — and we can either be anxious pitiful wrecks throughout, or we can energize ourselves by remembering that we’re always perfectly suited for our lives. We are, in fact, born for this. We are meant to be here, fully and honestly and wholeheartedly.
This is true no matter what. Of course it’s nice to be able to envision ourselves on a heroic quest, riding a great stallion. But sometimes we do feel like we’re barely getting by, limping along on a feeble cat. Either way, we’re enough. We can practice trusting that whatever we’re bringing to our situations and circumstances — courage or reservation, preparation or spontaneity, certainty or bafflement, boundless vigor or the need to rest — will be precisely what is called for.
This week I am thinking about how we rejuvenate and re-source ourselves, how to pace appropriately and take good care, how to prepare when that’s possible and also to have faith when we’re not as prepared as we might like.
It occurred to me that if a horse can shrink down into a kitty, that kitty can also, in turn, transform — she can become a tiger, a dragon, a rocketship. And this depends, ultimately, on what we think of ourselves and our own capacities. If we let ourselves be, and trust in our own spiritual magnificence, we can be like the victorious Divine Mother Durga, with all eight of her multi-tasking arms getting things done as she rides her tiger into destiny.
I can’t wait to be with you this Sunday, you powerful Love-Cats. Service at 10:00, at Bosque Center for Spiritual Living. XO, Drew
© 2019 Drew Groves