Free ChiChi! Free me!

A couple of months ago, Chichi the hamster escaped from her habitat. My daughter left the door open after feeding her and she seized the opportunity to roam the first floor of the house until we discovered her absence. Frantic (and admittedly pissed off) I yelled at the kids to launch a massive hamster hunt. I wasn't necessarily afraid of the hamster's well-being, I was more scared that she would either find her way to the pantry and chew through the containers of food, chew our furniture/shoes/clothes, and/or eat something toxic and die behind the refrigerator or something and we'd be searching for the source of the stench for weeks. Luckily, my son channelled his inner rodent and found Chichi the hamster hiding in my husband's shoe. We all laughed and put her back in her habitat, relieved that she was safe. 

After her taste of freedom, I figured she'd probably be miserable, stuck in her habitat again, but I didn't know how crazed she would become. Ever since then, she would spend hours clawing and trying to chew through one particular spot in her domed habitat. It's made out of smooth plastic, so I was pretty confident she wouldn't be able to catch an edge to get a good grip or bite to break the plastic. After a while, though, I noticed that she was able to carve out a slight groove with her front teeth. We'd take her out and put her in a large box so she'd have more room to run around in, but once she'd get to the edge, she'd sense that she's still contained and would try to either climb or dig her way out. After a while, we figured that maybe her habitat just wasn't big enough, so we bought an addition that we could attach to her current one. It was much bigger and was a wire cage, so it seemed more "airy". She seemed to enjoy the extra space, but soon she was at it again, finding a spot for her to chew at. 

We've been torn, not sure what to do with Chichi. By tasting freedom, she became painfully aware of her captivity. No matter how much space, fresh water and food we provide her, as long as she's confined by walls and a ceiling, unable to roam on her own free will, she will keep clawing for another taste of freedom. Since she was born in captivity, she probably doesn't have the necessary skills to survive outside of our house. But damn, the tenacity, intelligence and bravery she's displayed since her escape is impressive and has only grown. 

A week after getting her new space I saw her climbing the wires like a kid on monkey bars, gripping each wire with her claws with amazing dexterity. We let her out as much as we could, letting her run around. She's learned her way around the area immediately around her habitat. She was apprehensive at first, sniffing her way around edges. But with each time she's let out of her habitat she gets braver. She's learned to dig in her claws into the cloth of the stuffed chair and climb her way up to the shelf. She's fallen multiple times but each time she just gets back up. Now, she's pretty ballsy and will bravely inch her way off an edge, slowly letting the front end of her body down while gripping the edge with her hind legs, knowing that there will be some sort of surface that will catch her fall. She's memorized her way around and immediately knows the quickest path to take to get to the farthest point she ventured out during her last trip "outside". I'm starting to think that she just might have a chance.

It pains me to watch Chichi scratch away in her cage. I half joked before that when Chichi escaped, she had Awakened. She painfully realized the meagerness of her former existence when she experienced what was beyond. I can so relate to that. 

I've been wanting to share my story of the moment I opened up to what's beyond our five senses. I've told a few people my story of messages that were relayed to me around this time last year. They were beautiful messages of gratitude, love and hope from one of my most memorable patients who passed away under my care. I was also given a beautiful image of myself that I've kinda always felt, but could never come close to explain. Prior to that heart and eye-opening encounter I've never had any personal experiences with psychics, spirits or anything really woo-woo. But that encounter totally blew my world wide open and led me on my quest. Just like Chichi, I realized how limited my view of life was and how there was SO.MUCH.MORE out there waiting to be experienced. And there's no going back. You can't possibly un-know something like that. (I'd love to sit down with you and share my story one of these days. I've tried to type it out and I have pages and pages, but I'm still not done.)

Ever since then, like Chichi clawing at her walls, I claw at the edges of my knowledge, my experience, craving for more. There are times when I'm able to take trips "outside" and the view and the experience is just WOW. Most of the time I don't know what to make of it, but it is awesome. And I will keep clawing, scratching, even if it might appear futile to some, craving for that taste, sound, glimpse, smell, or feel of BEYOND. I'm willing to go to the edge, not quite ready to jump yet, but inching my way, feeling it out, confident that there will always be something there to catch me. To somebody else watching me, I might appear crazed, just like Chichi. But we're both searching for the same thing- for the ultimate freedom beyond the walls, if there's ever such a thing.
On another note, I wonder if more advanced alien races see humanity as we see ChiChi. They probably look at us with condescension, thinking that we're not advanced enough to be let out into intergalactic space, keeping us contained on Earth. In some ways they're right. Most of humanity is still primitive in our mostly fear-, lack- and linear-based and war-mongering behavior. And who would want to let that loose out in the Universe, possibly destroying everything in our path? But we also have redeeming qualities. We are hopeful, loving, creative, beautiful, resilient, tenacious, compassionate, spirited, courageous and curious. And there are probably alien beings who are watching us, rooting for us, just like I am amazed by and root for Chichi.

We are on the verge of so many breakthroughs- on scientific and spiritual fronts. If those breakthroughs were to enable intergalactic travel for "Earthlings", what characteristics would you want us to perpetuate outside of our sphere? Start perpetuating that now so when our time comes, all we'll have to be is ourselves.