Has anyone ever told you to go to hell? Hopefully not! But when you think about it, it’s kind of a funny request. Go to hell. Oh, ok, I’ll get going right now. I’ve been meaning to go to hell—I have wanted to check it out. Do you have good directions?
The notion of hell is not so nice. Fire burning everywhere—damn it’s hot! I don’t think I would care much for it—the searing heat and all. But how easy is it for us to actually go to hell—our own personal hell that is?
Hell is not a go-to destination, but something we often readily create for ourselves. Our thoughts and how we perceive what is going on in the world around us can easily plunge us in to that fiery pit if we don’t pay attention. A Sunday night can become hell when we start thinking about going to work Monday morning and the crisis that we left there on Friday. The situation or crisis itself might be hellish, but we often start the hell ride early by worrying about it and going over and over things we can’t solve until we get there. This can easily ruin your night and often affect your night’s sleep—it truly is hell!
I was thinking about this because I have a situation in my life that I could easily turn into a living hell for myself. My amazing cat Molly (ok, everyone says their cat is amazing—mine really is) is starting to fail. She has been living with chronic renal failure for the past two years and has done quite well with fluids every other day. But in the last month or so it is becoming more clear that she is getting ready to check out. I have been kind of avoiding thinking about it because when I do think about the reality that she is probably going to die soon it makes me immensely sad. I think about the loss of her. I think about how sweet and quirky and beautiful she is and how much I will miss that. How much I will miss her.
When I was talking to my very wise friend Andy the other day I told him I thought Molly was getting close to going and asked him to tell me something that would make me feel better about the situation. He did. He told me to think about how awesome it will be for Molly to leave her sick body behind and be able to run around again and play. Think about how fantastic it has been that she incarnated here with me and all the amazing time we have spent together. He said to celebrate her passing and returning to All That Is rather than focusing on the loss. Thank her for spending this time with me and let her know that whenever she is ready to go I am ok with that.
It is incredible what a shift in thinking and perception can do for us. In a situation like this, all I know is to be sad. But simply changing the way I think about it and being happy for all the good feels so much better. And knowing I don’t have to go to hell—that is a huge relief. I don’t have to spend the next week or month in constant anguish over the situation. I can just think of the good and be happy for her that she is making this transition. Wow. It’s like drawing a “get out of hell free” card!