The cat

I’m starting to feel more relaxed. The summer is dying and all my troubles seem to fade with its death. My health is improving but I’ve lost a lot of hair, perhaps because of all the medicine and the penicillin, but most likely from all the emotional stress. I have to accept that I am highly sensitive to stress. In fact, all the recent health issues have pushed me forward in the process of self-acceptance. For the first time in my life I am forced to deal with my physical vulnerability while I am connected to mind, body and soul. I am out of the dissociative behavioral pattern, I am slowly beginning to explore my physical self without separating it from my mind or consciousness. It is a strange thing to be this connected to oneself – because I am suddenly aware of every part of me like they are newly added to my body. It is an odd combination with my hypochondria and at times I feel worried I would lose all my teeth, more hair or get really sick. I think this physical awakening is a phase of self-protection and self-compassion – I have allowed situations where my body has been abused in so many ways (by others but also by myself) and this new awareness is the first step to a new acceptance, forgiveness and forming a new sense of self-worth and self-respect.

Perhaps that’s what my recurring dream about the forgotten cat is about;  for years I’ve had this nightmare where I hear a soft whimpering noise coming from behind a sofa, I pull out the sofa and see a very thin and dying cat and that’s when I remember that I have a pet that I haven’t seen or fed in months. The cat is covered in dust and it’s starving. I feel so guilty. The fur is coming off and is covered with eyes, all blinking and looking at me. The cat wants me to pet it but I feel disgusted and creeped out. I slowly approach it with my hand and pet the fur and I can feel the glossy eye balls against the palm of my hand.

The cat is obviously me – or a representation of my body (I would use cat or lioness to describe my inner animal and I have lots of dreams where they appear) and I have failed to give it attention and love.

I’ve made some artworks based on this recurring nightmare, perhaps I’ll make more. It stills haunts me.

“The Nightmare” by Mia Makila, 2010

I won’t ever abandon myself again. It is the biggest crime you can commit to yourself while being alive on this Earth. Self-abandonment leads to so much suffering and the lack of self-compassion is the first step to any destructive thought or action. This season of health problems has taught me so much about just that.

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