Tough Experiences Yield the Most Fruitful Lessons

I guess you can say I’m a fixer. Whenever something happens that causes others stress or grief, I immediately got into militant mode.

I take over.

I go into action.

What I realized today is that my coping mechanism for grief can come off as lacking compassion; as too intense.

That broke my heart. Which was already bleeding.

Over the past few weeks, I have spent a lot of time with my friends’ dogs. The dogs and I have been a wolfpack, as my friends have been traveling.

The last two weeks were very intense as one of the dogs was very ill. I did everything I could…followed all the rules…even slept with the dogs (which if you know me, I am NOT a fan of) because I wanted the sick one to feel comforted.

Yesterday, it got to the point where he was disoriented. He was walking into walls. He wasn’t able to control his bodily functions.

We took him to the vet and ultimately learned that the only humane thing to do for him was to aid him in crossing the rainbow bridge.

Truth be told, I had known for a few weeks that the time was coming. I thought I was prepared.

But how can you be prepared to say goodbye to a being that you had worked so hard to keep alive?

I did one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. I held him as he took his last breath.

And I sobbed. I apologized to him for swearing at him as I cleaned up his messes. I promised him that I would take care of his sister and his parents.

And the vet and I had a few laughs because one of my coping mechanisms is laughter.

When we got home, I went into a mode that I can only describe as extreme Martha. I did all of the things that needed to be done. And I continued to do so this morning.

Then I was told that I needed to lighten up.

It was a kick to the gut.

But it was the reality check that I needed.

You see…in extreme circumstances, I rely too heavily on my masculine energy. I’m not used to having someone who wants to…needs to take care of me. I’ve been a lone wolf for most of my life. I hate asking for help. I hate not being able to do all the things.

What works for me in my family doesn’t work for me in a relationship.

That was an eye-opener for me. Sounds silly–I know–but when you’ve lived on your own for around a decade, things have to change when you’re no longer alone.

One of the tenets by which I live my life is that life doesn’t happen to you…it happens for you.

I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned that I have the capacity to love an animal and to allow animals to love me.

I learned that I am stronger than I ever knew.

I learned that it is okay to need someone to support me.

I learned that I need to find a way to connect with my feminine energy.

I’m sad that the dog passed…but our last moments broke open a piece of my heart that has been locked for a long time.

What tough experience have you gone through recently that yielded an aha moment? Talk to me.

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