I have fleas.
It’s strange, because I have no idea where they came from. I live alone with my 2 indoor-only fur babies, Chloe and Joey.
By the time I saw the first flea they were already taking over. So, I gave my cats flea control meds, vacuumed a lot, washed slip covers and bedding, used non-toxic products, and then switched my cats to another medicine when the first one didn’t work.
I still had fleas.
I moved out of my bedroom and closed off the other 2 since they were the only rooms with carpet and continued to fight the battle with daily mopping, spraying, and vacuuming. Along with washing my sofa slip covers and bedding over and over again.
And, I still had fleas.
So, I gave in and resorted to flea bombing the house. This resulted in a lot of trauma. Chloe went wild when I put her in a crate and tore up her paw, even losing a couple claws. We sat outside in 90 degree humid weather until it was safe to go back in, and there was a lot of cleaning and work involved.
Five days later – I saw a flea. I didn’t know if I should cry, give up, or start the battle all over again. I was clearly suffering from emotional distress.
That night I found a website that gave me some level of comfort. It explained that I might still see some of the pesky critters for the next few months as new eggs hatched, but they wouldn’t be able to reproduce without cat blood and if they bit the cats the flea meds would kill them. They said I didn’t have to start over or fog again, just wait it out. I sure hope they are right.
I believe it is possible that when certain things keep showing up in our lives or refuse to leave, there is a lesson to be learned that we are missing. (You know, like when you keep attracting people who treat you poorly or certain types of bad luck.) Once we get the lesson, the issues will no longer be needed to get our attention.
So, this morning I sat with my journal and asked myself: What are the fleas trying to teach me? And, this is what came forward:
Throughout this challenge I have felt under attack. I was living in fear and my fight or flight mode was in high gear. It felt like a fight for survival.
This is a familiar feeling to me as it is how I have lived much of my life. I had experiences of being a victim in my early years and then struggled as a young single mother with no emotional or financial support. Most of my life felt like a battle I had to fight alone with fear being the driving force.
So, when the fleas showed up I felt threatened and reacted like I had to fight for survival all over again.
My lesson was a reminder that I could respond instead of react and do so from a place of confidence and peace.
Fleas? No problem. I will just do what I need to do and trust that they will be gone. A month from now it will only be a minor memory.
The real truth is that the fear and resistance I created caused me more pain and distress than the actual problem.
I don’t want to live that way any more. My intention for facing future challenges is to:
- Stay calm and neutral, as if I am a fly on the wall watching the situation
- Have confidence in my ability to resolve the issue – I always do
- Gather any information I need and choose the next right step
- Trust that all will be well and comfort the voice of fear
- Quickly shift any negative thoughts that come up
- Re-evaluate after each step to see what the next right step will be until the issue has gone away
- Be grateful for the lessons, reminders, and opportunities to grow
Hopefully, God will see that I learned the lesson and not feel the need to send me any more fleas.