The Cat and Mouse – Living With Our Fears
Some time ago, there was a picture in the Toronto Star of a mouse coming out of his cage and on top of the cage was a large cat, both staring at the camera. The caption beneath the picture explained that the mice and other rodents were being trained to detect land mines in places like Iraq so that they could be deactivated. The problem was that once the mice detected the explosives they were prone to scurry away. This meant they could potentially set one off, injuring themselves or others. To help the mice control their fears they were forced to live with one of their predators. In facing their worst fears, they were able to grow and to learn and to find a new purpose in their lives.
I wonder what the parallels are for our own spiritual journeys and especially as we journey through our grief. In grief and in loss, we are often facing our worst fears and finding ourselves trying to deal with some very strong emotions. We often feel overwhelmed.
I believe that one of the ways we can cope with challenges in our lives, especially ones that invoke a lot of fear, is to believe that somewhere, somehow there is meaning and purpose in what we are experiencing. Those mice learned to conquer their fears and in doing so were able to serve a greater purpose. Meaning and purpose take time, sometime a long time. Sometimes our purpose in grief is just knowing that we can put our arms around another person going through a similar experience and offer them hope.
Grief is one of the most difficult experiences of our lives but my hope is that in learning to move beyond the terror and fear that comes with loss and change that you will find a greater purpose.