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Village Gate

Teaching Hut


A Really Bad Night
by Christina Bar-Sella

This had really been a bad night. I was kept awake by a terrible scratching in my body that had been going on and off for the past two weeks. I woke up after having barely slept feeling very tired, depressed and cursing my unlucky stars.

About two weeks ago, my daughter brought us home a small orange and white kitten, dirty and swollen with parasites, who was obviously homeless and lacking all love and tender care. Enthusiastically, the family took to taking care of this poor little fellow. We took him to the vet who diagnosed that he had parasites in his belly and that his skin was covered with fungus. We started treating him and called him "Tibing."

During the first week, he mostly slept and looked very weak. My children and I cuddled him constantly in an effort of suffuse him with motherly love. Suddenly, my children and I started scratching all over our bodies and when I took Tibing to the vet for a checkup, he immediately detected scabies, in the cat and on us as well.

To the untrained in medicine or veterinary, I will tell you that scabies is a parasite that lives in the ears of certain animals and it itches them so much they will scratch till they bleed. In humans, the parasite burrows itself under the skin and secretes some liquid that the human body finds extremely toxic, and it fights it back by becoming red, and unbearably itchy.

So we had scabies, and so did the cat and the vet had failed to detect it in our first check up. Naturally, we all were treated for scabies. Tibing stopped scratching after 24 hours, and he was the luckiest. For the rest of us three humans, the itching subsided somehow but then it came back with full power.

Yesterday we went to another doctor and did another treatment. And this morning I woke up wondering why the Gods had punished me like this when we only wanted to give baby Tibing a cozy home. And then I remembered Serge's article, "Who owns your happiness?" I had let the itching become the owner of my happiness, and I had become its slave. I was depending on the itching's whims to be happy or unhappy and I was feeling like a victim.

There and then I decided that I was going to feel happy, whether I itched or not. Immediately I felt skeptical. "This is too simple," I said to myself. "It cannot work. I am too miserable and I have REAL reasons to feel this way." Still, I insisted on being happy anyway. Immediately I started noticing that it was a splendid day, yes, and that my house was shining and it was beautiful, and that baby Tibing was playing around with some string and that he was the cutest thing I had ever seen. I made myself some good coffee and sat down with Tibing on my lap to drink it slowly, enjoying every sip.

And then it happened: I suddenly noticed that the itching was not there any more. I cautiously checked to see if it was hiding somewhere and would pounce at me again from the dark depths where it was dwelling. I waited and it didn't reappear.

Yes, apparently energy ALWAYS flows where attention goes, even when you are itching to death! And for the time being, it hasn't returned.

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