Saturday, June 8, 2013

Its all about Love

Someone was contemplating the "meaning of life" and I was ruminating about this....I have always just KNOWN why I am here.  We are all here to learn about love.  How to show it, give it, receive it, explore it, taste it, revel in it, stretch it, grab it, keep it, lose it, shape it, touch it, smell it, study it, dive into it, spread it, multiply it, enjoy it, hold it, treasure it, glow with it....

Someone asked Jesus what the most important commandment was and he said "the greatest of these is love." Its pretty clear to me...we all want to feel loved, we all seek it out, and the greatest thing we can do is to LOVE to the best of our ability. 

Love is messy, beautiful, complicated, powerful, elusive, perfect, strong, life-changing....nothing is more important to any of us.  We all make choices in pursuit of love...we want to feel loved, we want to believe that others love us, we are wanted, needed, cherished, someone else.  Sometimes we make unwise or foolish choices and then we learn that it hurts to feel the opposite of love - many nasty emotions rise up when we feel unloved.

I wish I could respond to everyone in love...I truly believe we are to love others as Christ loves us....and no human is able to do this, as we are imperfect.  We are here on Earth to learn about how to do so.  We all come from the perfect, true love of the father, so we have the capacity inside of us to try and love as he does, and we are called to strive toward this goal.  We will once again return to the perfect and true love that Christ gives us....whole and pure, complete and all encompassing...we will all be together to adore and worship him, even greater due to the lessons we have learned on Earth about how great and wonderful that unconditional and perfect love of the father really is.

Even as this is my belief, I see in myself how short I fall of such a goal.  Oh my.  When someone hurts me, I respond with bitterness, anger and hate.  I lash out instead of trying to understand where they are coming from.  You hurt me, I want to make you hurt...that is human.  What I wish came naturally to me was that I could recognize the place you are coming from, perhaps you felt hurt by something I did or failed to do or to recognize your need for love as well.  "Well, she is hurting from such an such and she just wants to feel loved as well, I should try to understand and respond in love instead of bitter revenge." Yea right.  Knowing that God wants me to respond in love doesn't make it ANY easier to DO IT!!! 

It is so EASY for me to fall over and over again into Satan's trap of showing hatred and bitterness instead of love, as it is for all of us. I can and still do, hold the BEST grudges ever.  A huge part of love that I really have a problem with is FORGIVENESS.  I have to do it over and over, sometimes there are a few people I have to dig down every day and keep forgiving them numerous it bubbles up and I find it so difficult to not give in to the bitterness of my hurt.  I think I am able to love greatly, but then I am also able to be hurt greatly.  I understand how so many have to put up walls and shields because they have been hurt so many times they just can't deal with more.  To let yourself love with all your heart, you also risk being crushed and shattered with all your heart  as well.

Recently, my beloved soul mate dog Abbie went to be with Jesus.  We connected on a deep level.  I know God sent her to me because I needed her and she understands my soul.  Animals are a wonderful model for us to learn from.  I could write pages and pages on the subject of animals teaching us about unconditional love, so I won't expound on that here, but I let myself love Abbie with unconditional, free, total abandon....I gave her my heart, shared my soul with her, no holds barred, I dove in completely and loved her without regret, without holding back anything.  We share a part of 1 soul...this I know...we recognized each other immediately and we are forever linked until that glorious day when we will be physically together again in Heaven.

But, to love another completely and totally, is to make yourself vulnerable and naked.  I love her with a fierceness and a completeness that is powerful and glorious.  She taught me so much about how much God loves us UNCONDITIONALLY and despite our shortcomings, our failings, our humanness...she gave me such JOY that when I had to let her fly to Jesus, it hurt me so deeply, ripped my soul in half, that I am struggling to let myself love my animal companions that I am blessed to have with me now with the same carefree abandon.  I find myself holding back here and there, as I am afraid of that horrible and dark pain that will come when they have to be with Jesus as well. But I also have tasted what that complete and total love feels like and I want that again as well, so it compels me to keep trying, keep falling in love with my new girls a little bit more every day.

We constantly try to find love, give love, feel loved.  We mess up, we fall down, we hurt.  We learn, we file it away, we stand back up, dust ourselves off.  We try again...we reach out, we try to find love, give love, feel loved.  We are learning, stretching, exploring all about love....the many meanings, the many definitions of love...the many words for it, the many facets of it....its a complex and complicated mix of feelings and sensations.  So many kinds of love, so many ways to touch it, shape it, find it, lose toward it, run away from it....cherish it, take it for takes an entire lifetime to learn about it.  Some people learn quickly and their purpose is fulfilled early....some of us...well....we take a whole lifetime to figure it out.

The rate I'm going, I'll live to be hundreds of years old to figure it out!!!!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Life Goes On...despite my broken heart....

I haven't felt up to much writing since my Abbie flew to be with Jesus.  I know she is safe with Jesus, healthy and happy in paradise waiting for me.  The moment I had to watch that needle go into her vein, when I knew she was going to let go, was the hardest second of my life thus far.  Sometimes the right choice isn't the easiest one.  I could have shouted to stop, I could have prolonged her suffering here on Earth for my own selfish needs...but I gave her that one last gift of peace and release...and told her to fly to Jesus, and to find my Aunt Eunice who shares my deep love of animals.  I know time is not the same up in Heaven, so she isnt counting the minutes as I am until we are reunited once again.

I was unable to let go of her physical body for some time, as I studied her face, memorized each whisker on her muzzle, the curve of her nose, the feel of her soft fur....but I knew she was not really there, she was in perfect peace, able to breathe fully and completely, no struggling at all. She had entered the realm of perfect peace and love, as I was entering a deep black hole of sorrow...missing her beyond comprehension....the pain in my heart crushing and suffocating at the same time.

When my dear sweetness Abbie became an angel, my pain was so deep, I had to constantly push it down, or it would overwhelm me.  I am slowly able to let some of it go, release the pain and the sorrow slowly over to the Creator - he will carry the load for me when I cannot.  He is the only one who really knows and understands the depth and the sharpness of my pain...he made me and he made my Abbie, he knows all about our hearts and our connection.  I do take comfort in this fact.  He blessed me with the love of all his animals, and he gave me one of my truest and most beautiful treasured blessings in that little 16 pounds of fur and pure love. She taught me so much about what true and unconditional love really are...

I knew that Abbie would want me to go on and share our love with another homeless pet, to let that love and that joy back into my life when I felt able to do so.  The best way to honor her memory and her love is to share that love with another dog that needs it and will expand our hearts and our experience even more.  Abbie's love knows no limits, and she can love many many other family members, so I can do it too. 

The emptyness was excruciating, the lack of paws clicking on the floor, no warm fur next to my leg, no sparkling eyes peering up at me, almost killed me those first few weeks after Abbie went to Jesus. I knew that I couldn't wait a long time before sharing our home with another sweet soul.  I prayed for God and Abbie to bring me whomever needed me and whomever they knew I needed.

When I heard of a sweet girl that needed a home immediately, I went to investigate.  I prayed a lot before for guidance and wisdom when meeting her.  I felt Abbie was there and welcoming her into our hearts, so she came home with me.  Ellie is sweet, cuddly, devoted and smart.  She had just turned 4 and rings a bell on the door when she needs to go out.  She slipped right into my heart and she lets me talk to her about Abbie and licks my tears when needed.  She misses her former family who couldn't take care of her anymore as I mourn my Abbie.  I told her right away that I needed her help to heal and she needed my help to heal and feel safe and sound in her new home.  We can help each other.  I have patience with her fears as she does with my slowly letting Abbie's memory settle into my heart, and coming to terms with our separation until we are reunited someday.

I know Abbie approves of letting more love and more joy into my heart...I know that is what she wants for me. I do find it harder to completely give my heart away, to totally open up and lay my soul bear again to Ellie, as I know the devastation of the pain when she has to leave me. I have to work at letting her completely into my heart, as I did very easily and freely with Abbie.  I cannot let my fear of pain keep me from experiencing that true love and true bond with Ellie.  But it does not come as easily this time around.  One of life's many lessons and just another scar on my heart that I must incorporate into my being.

You can only experience great, momentous, extraordinary LOVE if you also risk the devastating, crushing, horrific pain of LOSS and SORROW.  You can't have one without the other.  If you love with your whole heart, you also hurt with your whole heart.  Some people close that off, the pain is much too great to bear, much too much to risk feeling again, but that is no way to live.  To truly live one must risk - one must experience all possible joys and love to the fullest!!  Abbie taught me this...among many other things....

My dear sweet Abbie is happy and healthy, free and joyous now in Heaven.  I have absolutely NO DOUBT of that.  God told me himself, so I don't have to worry.  I picture her running and playing, getting to know my cat Cassie, my Aunt Eunice hugging her for me, as well as my Uncle Terry who recently joined them.  I try to only remember the love, the snuggles and all the countless wonderful warm memories she shared with me.  I am unable to work in her photo album yet, my heart can't take it now, but I have all of her pictures and mementos in a pretty little box, waiting for the day when I can open them up and sift through them happily and without tears.  For now, I hold her heart inside mine and I carry her with me wherever I go...