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Thursday, October 8, 2015

What's On Your Heart Today: The Battle Over the Mind

Dear Jack, 



Two months ago today my Teddy was taken. So many thoughts and so much anguish. I know it was already set in motion. I couldn't have done anything to stop it, but still doesn't keep me from thinking I might have jinxed things. 

Last year we were fostering a dog from a rescue and I really wanted to keep her, I went back/forth-told myself we didn't need 3 dogs. Did end up adopting her, and now Teddy is gone, so maybe I really wasn't supposed to have 3 dogs! I have used tanning beds in the past, but early this summer I read a story about a girl with cancer that was enough to make me stop tanning. Someone asked me about it and I said I didn't want to get cancer, so maybe OK not me, but then my dog gets it!?


I seem to be distancing myself from our other 2 dogs. I take care of them, it's not like I"m ignoring them, and I do snuggle on the couch and play with them but on some level I suppose I don't want to go through that heartbreak again by being so consumed by my love for the dog that it hurts this much. I love them of course, but not like I did Teddy. He was MY baby. And I suppose I resent them a little, that they are here and he is not. I know they are grieving for him too, so we all need to be in this together. I truly am usually a sensible person but all this is thinking from my heart and not my head. 



Love,
Olivia 



Dearest Olivia, 

THIS IS NOT COMING FROM YOUR HEART, THIS KIND OF CONFUSION COMES FROM YOUR HEAD. 'I know it was already set in motion,' you say. This is coming from your heart. 'It doesn't keep me from thinking (!) I might have jinxed things.'  This, as you reveal by your words, is coming from your head.

I am not being critical of you, but I must tell you that when things come from your heart they are always clear, loving, accepting of all present past and future. You heart is unconditionally supportive of YOU and any decisions you have made; actions you have taken. This is the spirit us dogs live in every day of our existence. Everything is okay when you live from the love in your heart. 



When I turned 8 years of age, Kate decided to get another dog as a companion for me...but also as a "back up plan" for someday when I crossed over the Rainbow.  Enter Joey.  I had been the only "child" since Grady crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2009. Now it was 2013. Joey was needy and demanding and jealous. Kate was trying to balance the two of us and, while I was never very demanding, she believed that I was being pushed out. She felt like I felt like I wasn't the priority to her that I was before Joey came into our life. It actually made her resentful of Joey too, for "pushing me out". This, of course, was her MIND at work. She was projecting her feelings onto Joey and me when it was not the case at all.  


Joey and Me -- in that order
When it came time for me to leave,  Kate wondered if I left so that she could "have" Joey all to herself. She felt guilt and shame and blame, thinking that something she did caused me to want to leave her. My leaving her had nothing to do with any of that. Dogs aren't like people. We don't sit around remembering the so-called Good Old Days. We don't think thoughts like: "Gosh, I wish my life was different than the one I'm living." "I wish we didn't have this other dog in the family." "Why can't I be this, do that, go there, have that?" We take things in stride. We accept life and what it brings us at face value and we appreciate everything we have. We are what we are, we live with What Is and we love who we love. Everything is accepted and unconditional. We live in The Moment all the time. 


My Favorite Spot --
She Always Thought I Was Thinking About Stuff (because that's what she'd be doing if she were me)
but I was just watching and living fully in the moment. 
Please honor your remaining dogs by letting go of this guilt and shame and making room for the love and compassion in your heart that you have for them. The love is there, but your own feelings cloud your relationship with them right now. They may not be your Heart and Soul dogs, but they are yours and they love you and they need to know you still love them. We are very sensitive to the feelings of the ones we love and, like children, we need to be told what is going on and we need to know that you still love us...even though things are different now. 

It is natural to think about all these things, Olivia. You are only human. What if? How come? Maybe this and maybe that. The fact is, things happened the way they did and you cannot keep beating yourself up about what you might have done or could have done differently. You can only accept things as they are; you cannot turn back the clock. You cannot change the circumstances. You never could change them. They were set in destiny, in the fate of the Rainbow Time Schedule. Even things that might seem to be accidents were pre-destined. You need to love yourself as much as your pet loves you ...and forgive yourself for everything. You are not guilty of anything. 


Nothing Can Change My Love For You
We are not watching you from the Rainbow thinking: "Jeez, if only she hadn't done that!" We are only loving you, accepting you, wanting you to be at peace and free of the thoughts that torment you so that you can live and love again. We think from our hearts and not our heads, we always have, and we want you to do the same. 

Love,
Jack