The other morning I walked by a photo of my two cherished cats, Sarah and Janie, who I’ve lost in recent years. This photo has been in my home office since I’ve had the girls, yet this time I somehow felt called to pick up the framed photo and really take it in from a deeper perspective.
What I saw in the photo was my two young girl kitties lounging on pillows on a favorite loveseat a year of two shy of 20 years ago. I recognized that I was the photographer behind the camera lens. It brought me back to where we were in our lives together back then.
As a single woman, Sarah and Janie were like my kids who I would return home to after a day at the office, or having had dinner out with a friend, after an evening at the gym, or having participated in the spiritual community that I had joined. I’ve long since accepted that my girls were gone, but I hadn’t contemplated what I’ve lost in my life since we were all together.
Identifying the Source of Loss
The reckoning of loss in that moment brought upon a level of sadness that made me feel like I wanted to sit myself down and cry. Beyond missing my two little sweethearts, I identified a loss I felt inside that stunned me. And I knew that this awareness had come to beg me to do something about it.
I’d become lazy about exploring new personal interests, communities and friendships since meeting and marrying my husband. Throw the isolation of COVID-19 on top of that and there hasn’t been a lot of new fuel to feed my soul. I recognized that this is all on me.
Thankfully the sadness didn’t linger for more than a few hours, and the recognition that I needed to take action to take care of myself on a deeper level came to the forefront. I saw ultra-clearly that continuing to procrastinate about putting myself out in the world, despite the pandemic, would be detrimental to my spiritual and mental health.
The Action I Took
I’ve been a subscriber to a local volunteer agency email newsletter for a couple of years now. I had been reading their weekly emails, yet admittedly keeping the opportunities at arms distance, always finding a reason why an opportunity was not a fit for me.
Last week I saw a volunteer opportunity that really spoke to me. While I didn’t meet the requirements stated in the posting, I reached out anyway. I now have a phone meeting to discuss the opportunity with the person in charge with filling it.
I am a big believer in the idea that lessons will come to you when you are ready to receive them. I’ve known for quite some time that my soul was itching for some nourishment, yet I procrastinated. It took the pain I felt from the photo of Sarah and Janie to realize that something was missing, and that the only person who could do something about it was me.
While it’s still not clear whether this volunteer opportunity will be a fit, I’ve proven to myself that I am ready and willing to embrace something new.
How Are You Doing?
Worldwide we’ll soon be closing in on nearly two years in this pandemic state. I’d love to hear how it has impacted you where you are. What are you obstacles? Have you been able to open up your world to feed your soul?