That was how the conversation with my therapist started yesterday. I told him the exploits of my past week and how I had to re-map my thinking to make the best out of what otherwise would have been massive stress and anxiety years ago.
I had shared with him my story of how last week had been hell on wheels. But through it, it was also a gift to learn how to receive. It had to do with fur babies and the Universe handing down what I needed to walk away with and it is actually pretty awesome!
A few months ago, I took in two kitties (Nadine and Tiny) to “foster”. The owner couldn’t take care of them anymore and for some reason, she lasered in on me as the perfect candidate to love these two. I took on the responsibility with the hope that I would adopt them out by end of the year (which is still the plan!), but in the meantime, they would have a warm, loving home to live in versus a shelter.
Tiny came to me a scrawny little thing. Super slow, not much energy and I thought that was just his personality (although I will tell you, my intuition did initially say, “I think I have a very sick cat here.”) and I even asked his owner and she said that is how he was.
Fast forward to last week -- within 24 hours, this little boy was not doing well at all and my daughter and her boyfriend helped me rush him to the hospital that Sunday. Turns out, he was highly anemic (his level was 7 and the normal is 30!) and so he required a blood transfusion and a list of tests to gauge what else might be happening. I signed off on it even though the cost was well beyond what I had at the moment but I knew his life had to be saved. The second day, the doctor called and said he was doing better but he required a second blood transfusion and we talked about the validity of more tests because at this point, the final bill was going to be around $3,200 and since I knew he was doing better, I also had to be practical on what was actually necessary.
Deep down inside, I was slightly freaked out over the cost, as you can probably imagine. It isn’t money I have, the owner never got back with me even though she said she would help when she could, and yet, I couldn’t let this beautiful boy die so I know I did the right thing.
That evening, I posted on Facebook and a friend posted that she was going to send me money and she immediately sent me $40 as a donation towards the cost of Tiny’s hospital bill. I cried.
And in those tears, I wrote another post that said that it is the biggest thing I struggle with -- this RECEIVING thing -- and so maybe, just maybe, this was the lesson that I was meant to learn from this experience.
So I did what I have never done - EVER! I asked for money to help me with his expenses. I posted my Venmo and PayPal info and said that I would appreciate any amount offered and every penny would go to his care (that was already charged to my credit card).
Within a few minutes, , I had a $100 donation. During the night, there were several more because I woke up to another $100, $20, $50, $10 and more. Overall, within a few short days, I had been gifted over $500 for his care!
Yeah, I cried a lot that week.
I didn’t cry because I was stressed about the remaining $2700 that I have yet to pay. I cried because of the kindness and generosity of people -- some whom I have never even met before - they know me through Instagram and Facebook and love what I stand for and what I do.
I cried because I was learning to receive.
I cried because I didn’t know what that feeling felt like. And I leaned into that feeling and emotion and it still felt vague.
But slowly, it started feeling good and ok. And then my heart was filling up knowing that receiving is such a gift unto itself.
I am usually the giver. I love doing things for friends and family. From cooking meals to helping them move, to taking them to doctor’s appointments when there is a need, and so much more.
And rarely, if ever, do I ask so I can receive. I did when I moved into my own place earlier this year after the divorce. And the overwhelming influx of what I received was beyond overwhelming. I learned to take it in and know that these women who were doing this for me wanted to and that was it. The same reason I have done for others.
But receiving money is another thing. It felt awkward asking and it felt overwhelming to receive. It was a bit of an ego thing that I had to ask and it was a bit of an “I don’t know how to receive but I need to learn” thing, too.
And so I did.
I received the money, the love, the generosity of spirit and kindness of others and I took it all in with deep breaths, tears and virtual hugs and realized it was the gift that I needed.
The gift was in the learning to receive. To feel the feels. To take it all in. To say, thank you, it means so much to me that you did this for me.
It may be my word of the year in 2019. It showed up for a reason, this I know for certain. I am still learning to receive love, kindness, hugs and abundance. And I will admit, I want more of all of them and more of what else is out there!
Tiny is doing better. He needs a blood draw to see if his levels stay stable. Please send good thoughts and prayers out to this little boy. He is the sweetest and he has given me a gift that I will treasure forever.
P.S. It is pretty apparent on how much I love my fur babies, right? I was looking through images recently and it really pulled my heartstrings and reminded me of how much I LOVED photographing the silliness and love they always show.
SO… guess what? Puparazzi Portraits is BACK!! I’m so excited to announce a brand new, super fun website AND to celebrate, I created a series of Limited Edition Puparazzi sessions just for the month of December!
These Limited Edition sessions are chock full of goodness and an amazing value as well so if you or anyone you know wants the unconditional love with their pets captured forever, it’s time to do it! Click HERE for the details on the Limited Edition Puparazzi sessions! And while you are there, check out the rest of the site and let me know what you think! To get on the Puparazzi mailing list (to stay up to date with specials) click HERE.