"Pearls of Wisdom"
For Rebecca and Emory Richardson
Carole: I would like to dedicate this reading to all animal caretakers and veterinarians who know the struggle of controlling cancer. And how important it is to have compassion for those who struggle with this disease.
Pearl: This whole life, my whole life, has been about beauty for me. And when I saw the “no beauty” look in your (Rebecca's) eyes I knew I had to change something about myself. Something about the way I was feeling inside.
Carole: What was that feeling Pearl?
Pearl: It was not knowing if I was truly loved. A nagging, and all-ways-there kind of worry.
Carole: Why did you feel like that?
Pearl: My people had been taking my 'beauty' for granted. What they did not know, or perhaps had forgotten, is that beauty, and always to be beautiful, requires enormous work. Work in the sense that love is work, and to always find your love, even in the face of darkness and anger and doubt, this is Love's work. You must find your beauty then too. You lose it when you take it for granted.
Carole: So, the beauty that you are, that you have worked so hard be become, was being missed somehow?
Pearl: Yes, a little bit, deep from inside. So, I began to churn and churn on that. I asked myself how can I tell them that I love them more than they ever know? Then one day I saw inside my friend (Rebecca) and how horrified she was about me. So horrified I knew I had to change. And together we committed to changing as much as we could, everyday to find our love again. Rebecca was changing inside too. She loved herself more and more each day, and then she saw her own “lack of beauty” turn inside out and it changed too, until she erased all the ugly doubting and worrying. She committed to wiping out my ugliness inside of me.
Carole: And while she was doing that, something changed for her too? Let me rephrase what you are saying: You worked all your life to be a perfect manifestation of love and beauty. Then you realized your friends may not know how much you had worked and so you worried about that. This lowered your resistance to illness and you got sick. So, your people began to focus on this strange ugliness growing inside of you? Long story short, when your friends focused on your beauty again, that's when you healed yourself, and them as well? It sounds a bit convoluted, but I know life has many paradoxes. Maybe this is one of them.
Pearl: Much more and much less could be said about this, but somehow that's how it is. My beauty, what I am made of, when they focused on it, it somehow healed them and me at the same time.
Carole: Can you tell me how you are feeling now? Does your back bother you?
Pearl: The pain I have now is nothing compared to the pain of being overlooked or misunderstood.
Carole: Or not realized completely? You have had the rare opportunity to realize your “true Self,” and how love can heal all wounds, even between species.
Pearl: Love is what I am. I must be that. Those who know me must love themselves deeply, because one cannot love others deeply unless one loves ones self deeply first. That is my lesson here on Earth, and my teaching in this lifetime.
Carole: Are you happy now that you know your life's meaning? Is there anything they can do to make you happier?
Pearl: Love will heal the inner pain, but the body still grows old. If you are in love and you are old, then you are what they call wise. Without love, wisdom cannot exist. All that you love, bring it close to you, and cherish it, so that your wisdom can grow when your body gets weak. Love commits to one thing. That is to find where and how to grow that love.
Carole: You touch everyone you meet Pearl with a meaningful, deep love. And your love spreads out from where you are. It expands outward from you. You are in the center of it.
Carole: Does June pester you too much?
Pearl: June loves love. But she does not want to work to make it grow. I help her learn to make her love grow.
Carole: I guess you don't need to be reminded how much Rebecca and Emory love you?
Pearl: It always feels good to remember. Thank you.
Carole: Do you have anything you would like to say about the recent loss of Luke and Neko? (These cats were family members who recently died.)
Pearl: Too many of us are like them. We need to work to change that. Too many cats never know love in their lifetime. They come here only with death on their mind, all the time. And it's a shame. Look at me. I am a perfect model of love, one to admire and respect. I am an example of what love is, both inside and out. Love takes selfless commitment and devotion to a higher power. Your higher power. Go spread this devotion, and when I am gone, you will have that to sustain you.
Carole: Okay, good thought. I think we will end here. Thank you very much, Pearl. You are a truly a beautiful treasure, and very much loved.
"Pearls of Wisdom"
Photos by Rebecca Richardson
Carole,This page is so touching that it brought tears to my eyes. It is so incredibly full of love-the love that all animals deserve. Yes, yes-thank you so much for your kindness; it would be a source of comfort and inspiration; and thank you for traveling this journey with me and ElevenThirty over the last four years, since we arrived in Oregon.
Composite by Carole Devereux