Pain is a catalyst! Don't believe me? I invite you, no encourage you ... no, I'm beseeching you here ... read on and walk alongside me. Just be warned, this is the real deal, authentic experience and deep raw pain.
Pain all fronts, everything going wrong simultaneously. Murphy would have it no other way! Deep grief over the loss of my precious friend, passed away far too young; my heart broken by my life-long love; a darling friend had left the country; strife in my family; bank balance a hapless zero; wolves at the door for money I owe and nothing to appease them with. No job in sight, no-one to talk to, in this alone ... you get the gist. "Pain is a Catalyst".
Whilst unemployed, "I do the work I have to until I can do the work I want to". One of the many things is house and petting sitting gigs. Some have been incredible homes with awesome furbabies and some not so much.
Over a recent long weekend I was house sitting one of the "not so much" homes, though the furbabies were adorable. A derelict house, with zero security, in Johannesburg South Africa - a place known as "Ganster's Paradise" for good reason. I reiterate, no electric fence, no alarm system, no panic button, these are stock standards in Johannesburg houses. I relied on God alone for protection. The house itself, none-too-clean, falling apart, seriously pungent odour through, damp everywhere, literally wires hanging out from plugs and missing light fittings, holes in the ceiling, cupboard doors non-existent or hanging by a single screw, paint peeling, carpets stained and worse for wear, rat infested - yes, rats - and fleas to boot!
I kept reminding myself, "I will do what I have to until I can do what I want to". Sinuses flaring, skin bitten, raw, itching and irritated, I bunkered down, determined to do the work and earn the desperately needed money.
The rats were very active at night, extremely noisy;, this was unnerving to say the least. Remember, I am in Gangster's Paradise, for all I knew those sounds could have been uninvited company coming to visit. I prayed, real hard! After night two I was coming to terms with the sounds, and had to find a way to psyche myself into staying the distance, living with rats and fleas. In my mind I pictured the rats, cute as can be, cooking in the kitchen at night - just like the movie Ratatouille. That way I coped, sharing the kitchen with these nocturnal critters pooping and peeing all over - remember, the kitchen cupboards didn't close, the house is derelict! I armed myself with antiseptic spray every morning, just to walk through the house - that's a whole other story to tell. After four or five nights I had accepted these rats as "cute little furries", harmless and loving little families, Mummy and Daddy cooking together at night for their little family.
On day six, the unthinkable happened. One of the furbaby's I was hired to take care of, caught and killed little Ratatouille Daddy, right in front of my eyes! The little guy was graunched and crushed by fierce Jack Russel teeth, nose crushed into the floor, bleeding and helpless, he died. I was so heart sore, this little critter had taken up residence in my head as a Daddy, a family guy, cooking in the kitchen with his wife! Now his family had no provider, worse, I had gone from house and furbaby sitter to "carcass carrier". I was doing what I had to ...
Already on the edge of the abyss, I received the news that the man I loved for 30 years was to marry another, that very same weekend. I cried, bawled, wept and wailed. I was at the end of myself. Real grief overwhelmed me: the loss of my dearest friend; the violent end of Daddy Ratatouille; and the final closure to the 30 year long love of my life. "Grief is just love with no place to go". Words to placate but the unbearable pain remains.
There I sat, in surroundings I would never choose, heart shattered, penniless (except for the house and furbaby sitting payment), sick as sick can be from derelict-house-infected-sinuses, frightened, flea bitten ... my rock bottom, for certain! The depths of despair. Everything hurt: my heart, my face and head, my body, skin ... everything.
It was there I decided, this far and no further. I determined, "Pain is a Catalyst". All of this is not for nothing! I have been created for a reason, called for a purpose. The reason for the hardship is to catapult me to where I am meant to be. Hardship has taught me humility and empathy. It has given me a good kick up the proverbial to get to the things laid on my heart. My heart's desire is to make a difference in the lives of others, those less fortunate, those with fewer options than I have. My lessons at rock bottom were to create awareness in me of how incredibly tough life is for so many - first hand. Real life experience teaches in ways that no book or movie ever could.
My mindset shifted into higher gear. I embraced the pain; I reached out and embraced my calling. All through pain - because "Pain is a Catalyst" to awakening, to reason, to action! I thank God for the pain, I thank Him for the purpose and I thank Him for showing me the way out. Change is essential, "to get somewhere you have never been, you have to do something you have never done" I am doing it now, building a business to change lives, mine and the lives of others. I invite you to click on the link below and journey further with me...