What are you chasing?
The past few weeks have been an adventure. Or maybe I am trying to put a positive spin on adjusting to a new cat. I'm starting to see why we become reluctant to try new things as we get older. We finally get to a stage of life where we feel like we've got things sorted out for the most part. We don't want to disrupt anything. Life has enough surprises without looking for them! Still, we chose to get a cat.
The Marvellous Ms. Maeve escaped at around noon on Wednesday. The door was open for a few seconds too long while my husband asked me a question as I was getting into the car. She seized the moment and ran across the porch and down our neighbour's driveway. From there, it got worse as she demonstrated her skill at leaping fences, hiding under porches and ignoring our pleas to come home.
I enlisted the help of a firefighter living across the street. I reminded him that his career made him the ideal candidate for rescuing our cat. He assured me cat rescues are generally from a burning house, not under a porch, but he would try. Poor guy - he got close, but she bolted when he attempted to grab her and ran across the street - through his garage and over the fence in his backyard!
Maeve spent the day meeting most of the neighbours and running from us. She was up and down both sides of the street and made friends with a black cat named Molly. But as soon as someone got within three metres of her, she would take off again. Eight hours later, it was getting dark, and a kid up the street told me she was down another driveway. She was crying, and when I tried to approach her, she would run again.
So, I decided to sit in the dark on someone's front lawn and talk to her. She still wouldn't come to me, so I got up and slowly walked down the street, and she started following me. Ten driveways later, we were at our house. I opened the door, and she refused to come in, but she did sit on the rail of the porch. After a couple of minutes, I came out and casually held the door open, and she ran in. Whew!
What a day! And of course, I have been reflecting on it and realizing that the first mistake we made was chasing her. Had we calmly let Maeve explore the porch and sniff around, she would have at least known the outside of our house to find her way home.
The truth is there are times in our lives when the wisest thing we can do is let things go and not chase after them. I've done a lot of chasing in my life, AND I've learned it's okay to let things go. Its wisdom at times not to pursue people or things. People-pleasers often lean towards chasing people and an over-developed sense of responsibility in relationships.
Maybe rather than chasing something, the better option is to step back. Use the energy to focus on what is important to you. When we ease up and relax, we learn to trust the process. We find ourselves getting what we need. Rather than chasing, we can show up authentically in our relationships and lives, discovering that what we need begins to emerge as we pay attention. Moving forward can look a lot like taking things slowly. One conversation at a time. One yes to something that aligns with who we are. One no to the things that fill our time but not our souls. Bit by bit, the way emerges, and we all start to make our way home.