Saturday, May 11, 2013
If I say the word Reiki, my macaw assumes his relaxed, fluffy neck position with his head cocked and his claws in his mouth and he fits his head perfectly into the palm of my hand to receive his energy boost. My female Irish Water Spaniel responds to the word "aura." When I say "aura!" she lies on her back, legs open, ready to receive a Reiki bath.
I took my first Reiki class at the insistance of a nurse friend. She had seen a demonstration and wanted it as an adjunct to her work in a substance abuse rehab facility. I had no intention to be a healer as the psychic modality spoke louder to me, but I went and invested in the class, knowing all methods of vibration raising would add more Light to my life. At the time I had a very sick standard poodle who struggled with auto-immune disease and bloody colitis. Nothing worked to reverse his condition but when I returned hom after the Reiki I initiation and placed my hands on his belly in response to the almost unearthly noises emanating from him, he went right to sleep and the violin like screeching of his colon stopped. Did Reiki cure him? No. He eventually died of bloat....but in the year that he did suffer with the disease I was able to provide relief and a whole lotta love. That's the gift of Reiki: a whole lotta love, and we know love to be the greatest healing tool of all. My message from Spriit was to focus on healing before all else, and only when I did that earnestly did my clairvoyance and intuition sharpen.
Healing is not curing. Reiki is an Eastern concept, not a Western band-aid. It works on the phsyical, emotional, and spiritual levels. sometimes subtly, sometimes profoundly, but it always works to brings us to our hightest selves. In fact, some people profess that their intuition magnifies after Reiki inititation. It is taught in three levels, with at least 21 days between levels I and II and at least a year between levels II and III. Level one is basic attunement and hand positions; level II is distance and emotional plane healing; level 3 in the traditional Usui system (which I practice) is Master level that brings with it teacher status. The most delicious benefit of being a Reiki practioner is that you serve as a channel; every time you administer Reiki to someone else and it moves through you, you are receving a Reiki healing yourself.
I AM OFFERING A REIKI I CERTIFICATION CLASS ON MAY 25 FROM 11-4 IN FORT LAUDERDALE. Cost is $100 in advance. You will receive three attunements, the history of REIKI, learn the handpositions, and engage in hands-on practice. E-mail me with quesitons:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 954-254-8405.
I also invite you to join our Distance Reiki Circle for Animals on Facebook every Sunday at 9 am. Eastern and 6 p.m. Pacific time. Just type in the FB search bar "Animal Reiki Circle" and it will lead you to the page and an invitation request.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
I have expanded my behavioral repertoire. I’ve never been a hugger. It is not my nature to be demonstrative with people, especially strangers, but I’ve learned that some people need hugs to be comforted and I’ve learned when to offer a hug. We recently had an actively dying patient admitted from the E/R and the extended multi-generational family was present at his bedside. His daughter, his caregiver for 30 years, was inconsolable, sobbing in her uncle’s lap for over an hour while the family stood vigil bedside and a Catholic chaplain spoke with them and led a prayer. I was there for presence and observation but about an hour later the family was assembled in the family room. The daughter was no longer sobbing but was sitting quietly. I went to her and asked if I could hug her and she was receptive. There were no words to offer at that time. I did sit with her the next day and ask her questions about her father and their life together but I knew the night before it was not a time for words. I’ve sat with a patient who revealed in the first minute that she had terminal metastasized ovarian cancer and said she was hoping her death would come soon. I probed and found her reason was fear of pain, and I was able to assuage that fear for her. We had what was probably the most authentic conversation I’ve ever had with a patient after that.
My relationship with families and patients is easy, respectful, conversational, open. Even when there is not an assessment to be made or a visit to do, if I see families in a patient’s room engaged in conversation, I’ll go in and ask them if they would like me to make a pot of coffee or if they want some tea. Often they take me up on it. One afternoon I saw a patient’s spouse sitting bedside with his head in his hands, and later I saw him standing almost lost in thought outside the room, and then I saw him wander into the family room and just stand around. I called the daughter earlier, who said although he was confused and living in an ALF, he still took the bus twice a week to go to the Hard Rock to gamble. I asked him if he would like to join me in a cup of coffee and we sat down. I asked him some simple questions and then said I’d heard he liked the Hard Rock and that was a huge opening for him….I got to hear about his years of gambling exploits and his wife’s reactions to his winnings and learned so much about the couple I wouldn’t have gotten by asking prescriptive questions. He was thrilled and relieved to have someone take an interest in him personally. Then I could ask how he was feeling with his wife being in her condition and he trusted me enough to share. My relationship with the staff is also very good…I enjoy them and I believe it’s mutual. The nurses have helped me when I have cried (after I witnessed my first death), we have laughed and shared patient stories, personal stories, argued over TV reality show stars and storylines. They have come to me when they felt a family member needed extra support, and I always felt free to go to them for patient information and advice. I will never forget the image of me walking down the hall after that first death, sobbing, with Kathleen putting her arm around me and saying she understood, or Yvonne telling me “it’s all right,” that she cries every time she suctions a patient. I have a tremendous respect for the nurses and will miss their camaraderie. I even forged a friendship or two that might continue after my unit is over. Last weekend my mentor and I had a theological discussion in the team room. We disagreed over the randomness of tragic events. I said that everything happens for a reason, that there are no random events, and she said she can’t subscribe to the fatalistic view that someone dies at a pre-appointed time, that we have free will and the universe is full of accidents. I guess I disagreed respectfully enough for one of the nurses to say, “This is one Jewish person that I really like.” I made a joke out of it. “ONE? You like only ONE Jewish person and I’m IT?” and she backtracked and said, “No, I like how accepting you are when you talk to people about religion.” I felt that was a validation of my theology in practice. I am an interfaith minister and believe many paths lead to the same source and respect them all even when I disagree with the details. I think my theology comes through in my interaction with patients and staff in this way. Spiritually, I am led by my intuition, which is connected to the Divine, so I have learned to be in the moment and nonjudgmental and go wherever the conversation takes me.
The small group is a key component of the CPE experience. We are each assigned a mentor to work with in the hospital or the field, but the shared experience combined with the weekly support and analysis we give each each week creates an early and strong bond among the interns. Five hour sessions once a week = profound intimacy. I felt very comfortable in our group of five. What I appreciated was the ability to share my opinion and my theological viewpoint without fear of judgment, which I had in the beginning. I was able to find common ground among all of us. I was careful to ask questions that didn’t threaten the other group members as well and maybe in the beginning I was too timid to confront anyone but learned to do so in a gentle way. I felt safe enough to bare my emotions and cry (but I didn’t cry as much as ONE pastor who will remain nameless!). Our group consisted of Cuban Presbyterian pastor, an orthodox Jewish woman, a Chabad rabbi, a Haitian Baptist minister, and me. The orthodox woman, who lives in a very sheltered community, awakened to a world she didn’t know before: dealing with AIDS patients, promiscuity, drug abuse, Christian prayer. Every week she came in more excited. When she shared stories of her mentor, a Buddhist, she glowed with a sense of wonder and amazement so she truly embraced the interfaith element of chaplaincy which is so important. We would meet in the parking lot after CPE class and “schmooze,” analyzing the evening’s events, and despite our differences in practice, there is much we share and as she says, “We get each other,” which is always an affirmation.
The Presbyterian pastor came in kicking and screaming admitting he was taking CPE only because he needed it for ordination. He prefaced every statement with, “I’m a Presbyterian and we believe ….” but completed the unit by volunteering to remain with the program and demonstrated a true devotion to interfaith chaplaincy. I’ve seen him laugh and cry and felt honored to be a part of both. He is truly a people person with the rare ability to draw people into his energy so that they feel both comfortable and befriended. I felt this way and I know patients have as well.
The rabbi affected me in unexpected ways. I have a deep, deep respect for the learning and knowledge of a Chabad rabbi but learning and knowledge do not necessarily complete the recipe for wisdom. I saw in him the gift of wisdom, generosity of spirit, purity of intention, non-judgmental acceptance, and an appreciation for if not the possession of the mystical. There were times he was quiet in the CPE class, particularly early on, but when he did speak it was, as the Buddhists say, “right speech.” I went at his invitation to the Chabad seder, the first traditional seder I’ve been to in over 10 years. I was even more honored that he selected a special spiritual annotated Haggadah for me. His understanding of my theology and his recognition that outside of the brick wall details of the Law, we share the same belief and principles, have helped me to see that I may not be as estranged from Judaism as I thought. I have considered my own dying and what I would want in terms of a service and prayer, and I have told him that I would like his presence and leadership at the end of my life.
This was a good and valuable ride that I'm climbing on again.
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Let me say that I ended up working at Hospice because for years the animal communication and Reiki sessions I did with animals prepared me for this work. A growing number of clients wanted end-of-life consultations, and I obliged, honored to do so, honored to speak with and hear the wisdom and love of the animal ready to die, honored to share the grief and sorrow of the humans releasing their greatest love. It was a natural fifteen year training program leading me to work with dying people. I can say the animals have taught me how to live and how to die.
Saturday, March 23, 2013
Our animal companions, to many of us, are family, and even in the most lean times, we don't compromise the well being of our family members. But the shelters are full, and my facebook page is a growing host of photos of abandoned pets at kill shelters begging for another chance to live a life in a loving home. It's heartbreaking.
Of course luxuries fall by the wayside as well. Few people are willing to take a financial risk seeing an animal communicator, holistic healer, or any kind of intuitive (not I -- I still make sure I go to someone for semi-annual readings myself...for me this is religious necessity). I am blessed to earn a living as a professor and not have to rely on private consultations for my main income, but I know many others whose metaphysical livelihood was the first sacrifice in this economy.
My readings are comparatively affordable, which you'll see if you do a search. Some communicators charge by the minute and even charge for mileage and phone connections. I've never done that, but I have created a very simple and low, low, low to no investment opportunity for those whose animals need an intuitive consultation or spiritual "tune up." No one should find a spiritual session out of their reach. I'm a counselor and worker, not an entrepreneur.
I invite you to take advantage of two opportunities that will benefit both you and your animals:
1) the FREE Distance Reiki Circle for Animals on Facebook. We meet twice every
Sunday, at 9 a.m. Eastern and 6 p.m. Pacific. Come join the group, receive distance
energy healings, and enjoy the support of a group of over 230 like minded people
from around the world. Here's the link:
2) $11 Mini-readings for your animals. Yeah, that's right. $11 ( power
number!). Sometimes you have only one pressing issue or one question or concern
for which you need clarity, and I'm happy to do it. The $11 donation keeps my web
page and Reiki circle live. This is not a profit-making venture by any means. Here's
the link. http://www.reikidogs.com/MiniReadings.html
Saturday, February 9, 2013
Then of course I did my usual thing and cried. (Don't tell my endocrinologist. She'll write another prescription for Effexor, and I'll have to throw it away again).
Turning onto the road leading to my development, a road lined with glorious ficus and banyon trees that get annual county mandated "hurricane haircuts," I thought, "this is a truth I had not expected."
A stream of my life's significant bird encounters gracefully moved like a wave before me, and I welcomed them all:
- My first bird, Charlie, half moon parrot, sitting on my shoulder. He was removed from my life when my allergies became unmanageable, leaving a gaping wound I never quite closed until I acquired a parrot when I was 49.
- My being circled by a flock of almost celebratory male peacocks at the Lowry Zoo in Tampa
- My rescued crow, Melinda, dancing up and down in her cage when I opened the front door (dont' fret -- as soon as she could feed herself and fly, she returned to the skis)
- A family of trees full of welcoming crows outside Blarney Castle in Ireland
- The many ducks I have rescued as a volunteer. The one who lay dying in my car while I drove with my left hand and Reiki'd her heart with my right all the way to the vet's office
- My macaw, Baby, seeing a tear fall, licking it, and whispering to me, "It's OK. It's OK."
Because what I have learned is that the deepest love defies capture by description whether by words or paint brush. The deepest love cannot be reproduced or named. It originates within through that spark that connects us to a greater force. When people ask what my religion is, how can I explain?
This love that comes through the natural world is a manifestation of that great Spirit, and that is my religion.
Take a mental inventory. If you were to leave the earth tomorrow, what would you miss?
What emerges for you? Close your eyes, shake of your stress, and get ready for Divine surprise.
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Work on your spirituality, not your psychic ability, and everything
will come to you as you need it, in its proper time.
I listened and shuffled my priorities. I worked on healing, first myself, and then others. The personal healing was a traumatic and painful journey I wouldn't wish on others (see some of my earlier posts about the buried memories that surfaced). But it was necessary and promising as it cleared out blockages and brought in more Light, more Light, more Light. (We can't see well in the dark.) I took Reiki I, II, and III and then began teaching it.
One day, riding in the car, I rummaged through old hopes and desires and lamented the lack of scientific ability and squeamishness that made my becoming a veterinarian impossible. "I wish I could work with animals." That same Divine voice said, "You can." And it was like, WOW! I COULDA HAD A V-8! I CAN use my metaphysical gifts with animals and the people who love them. In fact, I would PREFER to. And the Universe supported me fully. From then on, I reserved my Tarot readings for myself and close friends upon request and since then have devoted and limited my practice to animals, doing communication sessions, Reiki sessions, pre-and post life readings. More and more, my clients were looking for end-of-life guidance, which is where direct communication with the animal provides the correct answers. I have loved every minute of my work.
Through this path, I "grew up" and learned with each new experience. I have since lost five of my own dogs to death....actually transition.....I'd lost others prior, but with these I became an active escort, accompanying them as they left their bodies, never leaving them alone or uncradled. I held each of them as they took their last breath and long after, which was a sacred privilege. I would like to honor them my naming them here: Angelo, my standard poodle; Kasha, my mini schnauzer; Seamus, my Irish Water Spaniel; Frenchie, my French Bulldog, and Gracie, my last mini schnauzer. I can still close my eyes and see each of them as their spirits left them and their bodies became empty carpets in my arms.
So it was not a difficult adjustment to become a Hospice chaplain. People react differently to death; either they are emotionally burdened thinking of it or they take steps to distance themselves from such thoughts. But what I learned from the animals about the grace of being present at death led me to Hospice chaplaincy. Instead of remaining "Lisa Shaw, the quirky one who thinks she can talk to animals," I enrolled at St. Thomas University where I completed a traditional M.A. program in pastoral ministries, specializing in Loss and Healing. I finished in December. The next step was to enter a Clinical Pastoral Education program, a requirement for chaplaincy that entails class and a 7 month clinical internship. I have been working as a chaplain intern in a hospital Hospice unit since November.
Last night, 3 months into my internship, I was present at a death for the first time. I knew it would come...but I didn't know when...and it came with a family I'd spent time with in the afternoon. I stood at the foot of the bed and watched as the nurse checked for a pulse for one full minute, then touched his face, positioned his head to the side on the pillow, and gently pulled the sheets up to his neck. There the foot of the bed and actually felt as if we were all in a sacred temple enveloped by Light. He looked truly peaceful without the belabored breathing and "death rattle" I'd heard an hour earlier. His daughter, a woman in her late 40s or thereabout, bent down, kissed his hand, and said, "I love you, Daddy." And that was it. I think I was more emotional than she was at the moment, and she looked at me, tears on my face, her eyes red rimmed, and thanked me for being there.
Some people -- no, most people -- aren't able to do this, and I still can't quite fathom how it is that I can. Had I been told 20 or 30 years ago that this is the work I'd be doing today, I'd have dismissed the predictor as cognitively impaired.
How is it that I can stand still in the presence of death? Because what the animals have shown me in their transitions is that confronting death simply means being still in the presence of God (or whatever name you want to give the universal Mystery that gives and takes life). When we are there, we believe and become our true nature: holy.
Monday, December 31, 2012
Try these simple affirmations for release. I will start with mine and then leave a few statements blank so you can fill in yours. If you read them aloud, your voice will give power to your intention and the Universe will hear you and help you cleanse and heal.
I release my need for anger. I release my anger.
I release my need to react. I release my reactionism.
I release my need to feel hurt. I release my hurt.
I release my need for excess weight. I release my excess weight.
I release my need to worry. I release my worry.
Now fill in your blanks:
I release my need for __________________. I release my ________________.
I release my need to ___________________. I release my ________________.
I release my need to feel ________________. I release my _______________.
Now light a candle for the new year and as you stand over it, say aloud those things you want to manifest for yourself and the world. Again, voicing them will strengthen those intentions.
In 2013, let's try to be more like our dogs: unburdened, joyful, satisfied, loving, forgiving, playful, "in the moment."
I wanted to leave 2012 by completing a project and sending it out into the Universe, so I have! You can download my e-book on Amazon. It is divided into three sections: one collection of essays on lessons from our animals, another with sample readings and afterlife communication sessions, and a third section with exercises and meditations for you to increase your own intuition and do this very work. It's $5, a bargain. I ask for your support. Here's the link:
Have a great New Year. Ring in the joy. Don't forget to join us on Facebook every Sunday in the a.m. and p.m. for our Distance Reiki Circle for Animals. Search for us and request an invitation. Namaste!
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Joseph Campbell identifies dreams as a great source of the spirit, and those who do metaphysical work know this. Dreams are vivid and visual and often more revelatory than waking consciousness. The irony is that we sometimes go through our waking life in a stupor while our dreams shock us into the more potent reality. I cherish my dreams; some of my most profound recognitions occurred in the dream state. Many of them involved animals, like the wolf who came to me during a physical attack in which I defended myself violently. I picked up a pillowcase full of bricks and was swinging it wildly to neutralize my attackers, when suddenly the contents changed shape and I felt something soft and warm and alive inside. I opened the pillowcase to find wolf pups. One of them emerged and said, "Stop. When you hurt one of us, you hurt all of us." I carry this message in my heart every time I am tempted to strike back at someone who hurts me, and believe me, I am often very tempted.
Thus the wolf comes to me as a prophet. Fundamentalists of any religion restrict use of that word to Biblical context and appear indignant when it is used outside of Scripture (Isaiah, Elijah, Jeremiah -- these were the only prophets). Last week this came up unexpectedly in a chaplaincy course I'm taking with five clergymen and a religious school teacher from various Christian and Jewish traditions. The Baptist shared his calling to ministry. An Orthodox Jewish teacher asked, "What's a calling?" He said, "It's a calling from God." Perplexed, she continued, "I don't understand." I jumped in as mediator: "What's that smoke on the mountain, Moses?" The African Methodist Episcopal supervisor agreed, "Yes, like Moses getting the call from God." The confused woman looked at the Baptist and said with machine gun speed, "But Moses was a prophet. You're not." I was disturbed.
After class she and I engaged in our usual 20 minute reflective chat in the parking lot. She worried that she might have reacted abruptly; her experience doesn't include people who hear God's voice. She asked me, "Do you think God talks to you?" I said, "Yes, you don't?" She was adamant. "No. Never. God doesn't talk to people. We learn about God through the Torah. No one is a prophet."
I took a breath and a risk because I would be demonstrating why I am no longer bound to Judaism, the religion of my birth. "God talks to me. God talks to the Baptist minister. God talks to the young man who decides to be a priest or the woman who answers the call in the convent. It's a voice, a message from a consciousness that is much higher than one's physical self. In this sense we are prophets. I am a prophet. I may not be leading masses across a raging sea, but if I bring one person to the Light then I am a prophet."
I hold this truth to be self evident (with apologies to Jefferson). We are all prophets when we listen to higher consciousness.
Webster defines prophet in multiple ways:
one who utters divinely inspired revelations: as
This week the Pope declared the Christmas manger a piece of inaccurate modern fiction. For obvious reasons, I choose to discard this. I like the myth, the love it propagates, the four legged and winged love, inter-species, inter-dimensional love.
Saturday, November 3, 2012
Then imagine my surprise when I wrote an electronic note to my ex-husband's current live-in sweetheart in which I remarked how far we've come in a difficult year. Last year I was still reeling not so much from the divorce itself but from the way it ended, with a third party involved but hidden from me. I was furious with him and her. He even came to my house for dinner in September, sat across the table from me, and told me how he'd found his soul mate, raving about her for over an hour. I vascillated between shock and despair. It played like a Woody Allen movie with me stepping outside my body, watching the conversation, feeling sliced in half.
Between Yom Kippur and Halloween I purged every photo, every card, every remnant of him that still soiled my house, and I prayed and chanted and chanted and prayed for release from the burden of fury. In that year, I've tried for some reason to befriend her and move past the hurt (I still hear his cell phone ringing in my kitchen early on Saturday morning and after 10 on weeknights, and I still hear her loud voice on his phone as he tried to muffle it behind the door). In that year we chatted amicably online more than a few times,sometimes at my intiation and sometimes at hers. All my friends would ask "why?" and warn me, "Stop talking to them," but I didn't listen because I was going to show the world what an enlightened divorce looked like, making public my quest to fix the unfixable. Maybe my real motive was to emerge from the situation as the indisputable good guy. I continue to reflect upon this. Maybe I have a bit of Stockholm syndrome and wanted these two brutes to like me. Maybe, when I think about it, I realize that I was ready to remove him from my life but wasn't prepared to be removed from his.
So now, precisely a year later, I wrote that note saying "in the spirit of forgiveness, I wish you a happy new year," a note that was, surprisingly, met with silence. Hmmmm. What I did see was a cryptic thread on her Facebook page in which she said she needed to eliminate toxic people from her life "even if they're only on Facebook." And her small cadre of supporters said oh yes, oh yes, she's been too nice.
Toxic? Me? Too nice? To me? How could that be after I wrote so well intentioned a note? I waited a couple of days and still seeing no response, posted on her thread that sometimes it's not the other person who is toxic, that perhaps the other person is just the catalyst to draw out what already festers within us. No response again. Double hmmm. She must mean me, right? I scratched my head like a bewildered chimp. My message, not just innocuous but intentionally kind, landed smack in the crater of some ulcer she created that bore my name. . Remedy? Unfriend. It could be medicinal.
I mentally announce to them, Take your on seats the karma train. You and he both.
But now they inspire nightmares. In one dream last week, I came home to find a daintily wrapped box inside of which were two pink scoop neck sweatshirts (I never wear pink). The box was from my ex-husband. Someone in the dream said these are not for you. They are for her. In a rage I threw the box out the window of my house in Far Rockaway, the house that rises from memory as Rockaway was decimated by a hurricane this week.
So I'm not over it. And avoiding my feelings by attempting friendship with them won me a prescription for anti-depressants this week. Then I woke up depressed because I found out I was depressed.
I had a reading a couple of weeks ago to get feedback on the new venture I am about to begin as a Hospice chaplain. The reader called this work the perfect bridge between the earthly and the spiritual, allowing me to walk in two planes at once. True, I thought; this straddles two levels of consciousness that don't always work in harmony with one another, creating spiritual cognitive dissonance.
I guess this is my purpose: reconciliation. I am confessing to neturalize the tension. I am, as are all of you, a spiritual being learning to be human (not the other way around). And as a human being, I experience the full range of wooly emotions. And as a triple Capricorn with Mars in Scorpio, armed with a relentless artistic temperament, I experience personal injustice as a prolonged, persistent, and unwelcome guest. And yes, I admit it, when I feel attacked it's tough to resist those inner calls for retribution. I become the ugly hydra-like bitch startled from a much-needed sleep. And the godly side, well, that's the side that writes stupid little reflective notes that remain unanswered.
Monday, October 15, 2012
I had an animal communication station where I offered free readings to all who stopped by (I thank you and my gas tank thanks youfor your generous donations!), and from 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. I read one dog after another, taking only one quick bathroom break around 2. The event was sponsored by Sunny 107.9 and WIRK, and through their very generous advertising, the turnout was enormous. I apologize for having turned away people after 5 p.m. even though they had waited in line. The booths were being dismantled and honestly, after reading nearly 40 dogs, I would not have been as sharp as I had been earlier.
Many people brought their rescues for a reading, seeking insight into their lives before their rehoming, and most came with "issues" as so many rescues do. Whether they are territorial or timidity issues, each of these dogs entered its new home with a heart full of gratitude to their new caretakers. Most of them were welcomed into homes with other animals, which satisfies their pack instincts. Trusting and open, they allowed me to enter their auras to retrieve and exchange information. A few times, as I sat cheek to cheek with a blue nose pit bull, I thought about all the warnings we hear regarding space, including the recent attack on a Lincoln Road waitress who innocently bent down to give a dog water and was severely bitten for "getting in the dog's face." I released those thoughts. I've been up close and personal with many pit bulls over the last 25 years and have never found them aggressive or territorial with me, but I respect them as I approach them, always asking their permission and entering their space with love, so they respond in kind. Often the pit rescues combat the emotional and physical residue from r previous owners who used them for fighting. This weekend I read for some dogs who had major physical scars, one who looked like his snout had been ripped in half and sewn back (a hound that had been attacked, unprovoked, by a wandering pit bull) and one lab mix who had a scar not readily visible....the dog wanted to make sure I knew about it and told me to look on the right side of his belly. The owners verified this and gave me a better look at the incision.
These rescue dogs want only to be loved and held and their joy after rescue is palpable. To meet so many humans who have opened their hearts and homes to them, engendering that joy, is encouraging, a downpouring of Divine Light in a world too often overcome by darkness.
Thank you all for allowing me into your Light.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
A friend of mine who had to euthanize her dog earlier this week just asked on Facebook, "Who cries in Publix?" and I nodded vigorously even though this was not a yes or no question.
So getting into tub today, I took a random inventory of all the ways I continue to pathologically butcher myself, both physically and literally, tearing myelf apart to bleeding point from my scalp down, biting, scratching, picking, something I've done since I was 5. (What happened to me when I was 5? Ask my dead grandfather). Why do I do this, I asked myself, and got a very honest reply from the advancing crone within: because you hate yourself. Of course, like every educator or therapist knows, the subsequent question was why do you hate yourself? The answer was because no one loves me. I was tugged visually to a scene in my Flatlands home, when I was 7 or 8,having something to do with brown socks and not wanting to go to school that day, hiding in the bathroom, hoping the bus would leave without me so I could stay home and watch Topper and I Love Lucy.
As I watched this mental movie, I stood flanked by two Irish Water Spaniels who could not keep their paws or affectionate tongues off my arm.
Now herein lies the lesson. A few years ago, we had a Southern Irish Water Spaniel festival at the home of my dog's breeder in Covington, Georgia. We gathered our twenty-plus Irish Water Spaniels from Ft. Lauderdale to North Carolina (and of course, their wonderful people!). The dogs ran basic agility, chased tennis balls, romped in the yard in extreme joy, but Ingrid, my girl, seemed reluctant to leave my side, hiding behind my knees most of the weekend. I asked her co-breeder, Deborah, a training whiz, "Why are all my dogs so needy? Why must they be on top of me every minute?" She thought for a moment, then looked at me and said, "Maybe it's not their need. Maybe it's yours."
Today I understand this. As I stepped out of the tub with these two wooly dogs wagging alongside me, I got it. My dogs love me this way because I need them to love me this way.....because no one else ever has, and it's likely that no one ever will.