psy·chot·ic leop·ard sīˈkädik/ˈlepərd/ noun · anything that is funky, interesting, beautiful, niche, useful, and grabs one's attention

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Animal Totem: The Leopard as Symbol of a Power, Strength, Healing, Hope and Confidence during my Divorce

Posted by Lisa Johnson on

When my son came up with the name "Psychotic Leopard" for this site, I felt in my gut that it was perfect - slightly shocking, unusual, and bizarre, exactly like the kind of stuff I am attracted to buy, wear, and sell.

Shortly thereafter, my very good friend, Monica, sent me a link to "Spirit Animal Totems and Their Messages" website, which she occasionally refers to when she sees or dreams of an unusual animal or one which appears out of its normal setting.  I decided to check what it said for "leopard" and found it could not be fitting to my life right now.

The site claims that a leopard is a reminder that "there is always a period of rebirth after a period of suffering and death on some level."  The past three years have been intense and emotionally challenging, as I have attempted to extract myself from a nineteen year marriage which was not the greatest idea to get into in the first place, but how many young people are capable of considering long-term consequences to major life decisions?  

I feared the split's effects on my children the most, especially because my son's best friend had committed suicide not long before, and I could not stand the thought of putting them through any more trauma.  Because of this, I spent years rationalizing far more than I should have, and only when things had become completely unbearable was it time to say the final goodbye and get him out of the house for good.

According to this animal totem site, those who experience a connection with a leopard may feel a sense of balance, confidence, and courage in the face of adversity.  Yet the uncertainty that comes with making a life-changing decision brings all kinds of pain, and obviously it's impossible to feel invincible in the midst of deep conflict.  But though I did not, and do not, always feel sure of how I am handling the obstacles that come with dealing with an irrational spouse, I've discovered that as time passes, my outlook has shifted.  

In the midst of all of the heartbreak and horror, I discovered some of the deepest joy ever, combined with intensity of gratitude for having the chance to get my life back while I am still fairly young.  On top of the relief was a sense of lightness; the only time I had ever felt this way before was over twenty years ago, while backpacking solo through Europe after graduating college.

Animal Totems also suggests that the leopard is a symbol of the healing of deep wounds, and "will bring old issues to resolution through the reclaiming of power that was lost during the time of the wounding....reminding you that you have many resources, skills, capabilities, inner resources and patterns available to you that will allow you to do a broad range of tasks at will."  In being pushed to survive on my own, I've learned to be way more creative and on less money.  The household is running much smoother.  The kitchen has never sparkled so much, and I even managed to fix the dishwasher with the help of a Youtube video.  As they say, if you want something done right, do it yourself.  

A leopard is able to hunt with patience, persistence, and stealth, all qualities I use in my day to day work when seeking treasure, and I have to remember to draw on these attributes as I continue to try to make this divorce final.  I think I can do it.

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